Free tools that will make your life as a digital PR a hell of a lot easier

One of the best things about being a digital PR strategist is that no two days are the same. Wednesday you can be hosting creative brainstorms and putting together proposals for new campaign concepts, and Thursday you might be on the phone to journalists, supporting the sell-in of a new campaign.

To see a campaign right through to becoming a success you need a strong set of PR tools at hand. From briefing and concept creation to seeding and reporting, the right tool for the job can save time, effort, and generally help you do a much better job.

We’re incredibly lucky at Branded3 to have a wide variety of tools and subscriptions available to us. But, even if that wasn’t the case, there are so many brilliant, free tools, extensions and sites out there that make it easier for you to have a successful job.

Planning

Trello – A really simple and easy-to-use planner for your projects and tasks that lets you work them through a system. Some of us use different boards for different clients and work tasks through a system like a ‘work in progress’. You can also share your boards with others, which is particularly useful when keeping team members in the loop.

Trello

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Google Calendar – A vital resource for any PR. We use different colour-coded calendars to filter important dates, events, or forward features that are relevant to our clients and their industries. Incredibly useful when planning content and preparing for reactive PR around events, such as political announcements and data releases. For a great starting point, take a look at our Branded3 PR calendar.

Data sources

Data can be used to inform, create, or simply add context to a campaign. But this doesn’t mean investing thousands of pounds into surveys or market research. There’s a wealth of knowledge and data available absolutely free.

ONS and Data.gov.uk – The Office for National Statistics and Data.gov.uk allow you to browse and even request data as well as providing a calendar of future releases, letting you plan ahead.

Google Trends – Allows you to analyse search trends for certain topics and keywords over time, with related queries and geographical spread. As well as using this to reinforce a concept and the search interest, it can also inspire, inform, and build a concept very easily.

What Do They Know? / Ask the EU – The UK and EU versions allow you to browse existing freedom of information (FOI) requests as well as filing new ones.

Answer the Public – We love this tool! It basically provides you with all the different ‘who, what, why’ questions that users search for around a specific keyword. We often use this to research for creative brainstorms and to understand some of the queries and conversations surrounding certain topics.

Answer the public tool

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Creation

Grammarly – If spelling and grammar are not your strong suit (and you don’t have access to an editorial team), using extensions such as Grammarly can be really useful for quick checks as you go along.

Foter and Unsplash – We mostly use images from a subscribed database but both these are great for sourcing free images if you don’t have that luxury. Compressor.io is also really useful for decreasing the file size without compromising the quality of the image.

Venngage – A free tool to create your own infographics (features are restricted on the free subscription but there’s still loads to go at). This isn’t something we use often as our design work is done by our in-house team, but this can be really useful if you don’t have this resource available or feel your pitch to a journalist could be portrayed more effectively as a visual.

Engagement

Hunter – Have you ever spent half an hour getting lost on a blog or website scouring for an email address? We’re about to save you a hell of a lot of time: Hunter searches through a site and presents you with a list of email addresses found. You are welcome!

TweetDeck – Twitter is obviously one of the best tools a PR can use. The uses are endless and we use it for anything from finding conversations, audiences and content, amplifying campaigns, and profiles, or putting together lists of influencers and finding journalists’ email addresses.

TweetDeck is perfect for monitoring all of these as well as your own notifications, users, or hashtags in one concise dashboard, as well as scheduling tweets across multiple accounts.

TweetDeck

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The telephone – Still the most useful PR tool! But use it wisely, no journalist has time for a five minute chat about the weather and a load of waffling through your idea. Be concise and get to the point. Build a relationship with key influencers and ask them about the best days and times to contact them.

Tracking and Analysis

Google AlertsWe use a number of different alerts as some can slip through the net. But Google Alerts is a really simple way of tracking client mentions or even keeping an eye on certain topics of conversation or competitors.

You can choose to have these as they happen (probably best for client mentions) or as a daily round-up (better for competitor and conversation tracking). And don’t underestimate a simple Google search for keeping tabs on client and campaign coverage!

Google AnalyticsOur go-to for analysing and measuring our PR efforts. We put together post-campaign reports for all of our clients using GA. It easily shows the KPIs we set out at the start of the campaign and how we achieved them. Covering everything from referring sites to traffic, time on page and assisted conversions, it allows us to really measure and portray the impact of campaign engagement.

Social analytics – We use the Buzzsumo extension for this (paid subscription but you can get limited data with the free version) but SharedCount is also a quick tool for reporting on URL shares, likes and more.

Buzzsumo

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The rest

Awesome screenshot – Quickly get screen grabs any part of a webpage you desire that you can then easily annotate and edit.

Google Docs – Really useful for team/client collaboration. You can use Sheets to create, track and collaborate on media lists, work in progress documents, or idea creation.

Keywords Everywhere – Automatically see search volume and CPC appear against keywords in all kinds of places: Google Analytics, Search Console, UberSuggest, Soovle and more.

Redirect Path – A simple HTTP header and redirect checker.

There’s so many variations of these tools, sites and extensions out there and you may already have subscriptions that do some of these for you. But our advice would be to have a little play around, try new ones, delete useless ones and work out the best set to suit your tasks and make your day to day a little easier.

6 Years Without a Boss

On this day in 2011, my life changed dramatically. I didn’t know it at the time, but the change was for the better.

I was laid off on August 18, 2011, and it was my second layoff in about two years. Confidence was at an all-time low. Pressure to produce for my wife and three boys was at an all-time high.

I could never have dreamed on that day that six years later I’d be boss-less. Well, I’d likely assume unemployment was a possibility. But not a business of my own that would not only succeed but sustain that long.

I’m not your prototypical entrepreneur, by any stretch of the imagination. You may think of overachievers. Hyperactive personalities. Extroverts. Work over sleep. None of these words and phrases describe me.

I feel incredibly lucky.

My wife Lisa has supported me throughout the crazy. She remained patient while my lack of paycheck could have been interpreted as laziness and refusal to work.

I’ve had jobs, experiences, friends, acquaintances, support system, privileges, and education that all helped make this possible.

Six years ago, our oldest son was 10. He’s now driving. Six years ago, I felt like a mid-30s kid still trying to grow up. Maybe even resisting adulthood.

I had no vision. I had no grand idea for what I was going to create. There was no business plan.

I just started to write…

This is where you expect me to write about how I became rich and famous. About how I make six figures when I sleep at night, and “here are the three steps so you can do it, too.”

Wealth and fame may motivate some, but it’s never been interesting to me. I measure wealth in time, freedom, flexibility. Time with family. Freedom to do what I want. Flexibility to control my own hours.

By that definition, you’re damn right I’m rich.

I walked my youngest son to school this morning, and I’ll pick him up when he’s done. I spend more time coaching my middle son’s baseball team than I do worrying about work. My wife and I spend so much time together that she gets sick of me.

And it’s glorious.

This new life of freedom still has its challenges. It’s not perfect. I have regular battles and struggles that are unique to this type of life.

After six years of this, here is a sampling of the important lessons I’ve learned…

Have Patience

That first year was rough. The first six months were even worse. It felt as though I was going nowhere. Progress was difficult to spot, and each step forward seemed to be followed by a step back.

You aren’t going to figure this out overnight. Progress may be slow. Have realistic goals and expectations.

So much of why I’m bossless today is because I didn’t let early failures ruin me. It could have easily happened. I was certainly close to that place. There are times when I still get low.

Impatience leads to a negative outlook. Dissatisfaction. Eventually, you’ll want to give up.

Don’t do it. Be reasonable about your goals. Be fair to yourself and your ability to reach those goals.

Keep Grinding

Going on your own can be overwhelming. There are so many things you can do, so many products you can create, so many tools you should use, so much advice you can take. The result is often paralyzation.

Paralyzation defined much of the early part of my journey. There are so many ways to go, and you don’t know where to start. The easiest thing to do: Nothing.

Progress happens when I create. So what if no one reads that blog post? Write. So what if no one attends that webinar? Host it. So what if no one buys that product? Launch it.

Irrational fear keeps us from trying. But the reality is that we learn something valuable with each new attempt. We learn about what worked and what didn’t, and we make it better next time.

If we’re constantly sitting back, waiting for whatever we’re thinking about doing to be perfect, we’ll never get anything done.

Keep grinding. Fight through the doubt and urge to do nothing.

Keep creating. The joy of helping even one person will be worth it.

Keep failing. It won’t be perfect. The more you fail, the more valuable experiences you’ll have.

Keep learning. Read, try, and experiment. Make yourself and your business better through knowledge.

Take Care of Yourself

You can sleep until noon if you want. Skip breakfast. Eat Skittles for lunch. Watch every episode of Game of Thrones in your underwear.

Who’s stopping you? You don’t have a boss. YEAH! You don’t have a boss! You do what you want!

As someone who’s done it, don’t. It’s not worth it. After 16 days of Skittles, you’ll begin to regret it.

Try to sleep like a normal human. Eat good meals. Don’t forget to exercise. Remember: Your business depends on you. You’re its most important asset!

Solitude is Hard

In the beginning, it’s pretty awesome not having a boss. There are other perks like not having that annoying co-worker around, too. But eventually, it can get awfully quiet.

During the summer months, it’s a party in the Loomer house. All of the kids are around. They want me to play catch in the front yard or play Uno while we watch a mid-afternoon movie.

Then they go to school… Crickets.

No work gossip. No complaining about a project. No office pranks.

It’s one of those things that no one really prepared me for. Working out of my dark basement gets quiet and lonely. And it can suck.

Find a way to remain social. Online social activity can help, but only until you fall in a rabbit hole of comments on a political post (DON’T READ THE COMMENTS, DAMMIT!). Get a hobby. Make friends. Do something.

Coaching baseball helps for me. I set up a daily call with John Robinson. I also go out to lunch every Friday with my wife.

It still gets lonely, but it’s a start.

Create a Routine

You don’t have a boss. No one is telling you what to do. There are a million things you can do today. Where do you start?

I’ll freely admit that I am not an organized person. I’m done feeling embarrassed about it. It’s who I am. I’m not changing. “Winging it” is a skill of mine. I can procrastinate like it’s an Olympic event.

But some structure is necessary. Every day, there’s one task that is primary. It needs to get done. If I get other stuff done, great.

Monday is for my PHC – Entrepreneurs Facebook Live. Tuesday is for training program lessons. Wednesday is for my weekly PHC – Elite weekly webinar. Thursday is for one-on-ones. Friday is for blogging, but it’s otherwise my free day.

That doesn’t mean I don’t do anything else on those days, but having that structure makes me more focused without the overwhelm.

Get Help

When you’re starting your own business, it’s easy to try and do too much. You know what’s best, and you’re trying to save money, so you do it all yourself.

Just stop this madness.

I was a designer, programmer, customer service agent, and podcast editor in the beginning. And I was terrible at these things.

Hire people whose expertise is in your weakness. Find people who are experts in the things that you hate to do.

It will save you a ton of time so that you can focus your energy on the important tasks associated with growing the business.

Balance Involvement with Personal Value

There’s a big potential pitfall associated with getting help. I was not prepared for it.

Once I passed off the things I didn’t want to do, I suddenly felt less valuable. I felt out of the loop. It sapped my inspiration.

Example: I don’t like handling customer service. I can get 99 friendly emails, but the one angry message ruins my day. By passing off that duty, I no longer need to deal with the angry messages. But I also don’t see the nice ones.

Those nice messages make my day. They keep me motivated. They provide inspiration and make me feel like I’m making a difference.

My point? Find a balance. Get help while also making sure that the value you provide keeps you inspired.

Biggers Isn’t Always Better

Innuendo is hilarious.

In the beginning, it was always about shipping and creating. Launch something new. Find another revenue source. Hit a new goal.

Those days are over for me. At least in this current stage of my business.

I’ve found a perfect place right now. It’s a good balance between effort and revenue needed to live my desired lifestyle. To make more, I’d need to create more. Launch more. Build more.

As I said earlier, creating and launching are good. That’s how you learn. But stay within your limits. Know that more money doesn’t equal more happiness.

Have a Reason Why

It’s pretty simple for me. My family keeps me motivated. I want to spend more time with them. Coach their baseball teams. Participate in their lives. Go on vacations with them. These things are what drive focus of my business.

Want me to speak at your event? Eh. It had better not be during baseball season. And it needs to be a family event for a fun vacation. Otherwise, it’s not worth it for me, and I don’t care what the speaking fee is.

Making business decisions becomes easy when you have an overarching reason why you’re doing it all in the first place.

Don’t Obsess Over the Competition

I’m not saying you should completely ignore what other people are doing. When I was finding my way, I learned a lot from the likes of Amy Porterfield, Mari Smith, Chris Brogan, Marcus Sheridan, and many others.

But don’t obsess with keeping up with them. Don’t assume that they have it all figured out. That their backstage is a well-oiled machine. That they’re as happy and successful as they can be.

Look, there’s something to be said for a little competition. I learned this recently in a 5K. I ran for 10 days straight to prepare, running some pretty bad times. I then took 10 straight days off for a family vacation. I jumped into the 5K cold, and ran my best time in months.

Why? Because I wasn’t running by myself. That 12-year-old kid passed me, but I’m going to pass him back. That man my age will not finish ahead of me.

Some competition is healthy. But don’t let it guide all that you do.

Embrace Change

Change is hard for me right now. I have everything the way I want it. Any big change completely throws that out of whack.

But I realize that change is necessary from time to time. Freshen up your approach. Try something new. Not only can your brand get stale to your audience, but repetition can create boredom for the creator.

I admit it. The very routine that I created for myself this year has resulted in more boredom than I’ve experienced since I started. But that’s just a good sign for me: It’s time to mix things up soon.

Doing something new and different — as long as it’s managed, controlled, and doesn’t overextend — can be liberating and inspiring.

As fun as this has been, I know I won’t be writing about Facebook ads for the next 20 years. I’m looking forward to that next business opportunity (baseball related?) that comes my way.

Your Turn

This list could keep going, but these are the primary lessons that come to mind from the past six years. I appreciate you, and I hope you’ve found this article and my content helpful.

Thank you!

The post 6 Years Without a Boss appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.

IKEA dresses Westeros, chicken for students, and beautiful scars

Each week we pick 5 campaigns that made it big in the press, summing up how they did so well. This week we’ve got a varied bunch of campaigns, from big brands including Heinz, Nando’s, and IKEA. Find out why they made the cut…

Nando’s offers free chicken to A-level students on results day

August 17 was A-levels results day where students across the UK nervously awaited to find out whether they got the grades they wanted and the university placement they applied for.

After 14 years studying, the gruelling exams were the cherry on top of their pre-uni education. So it’s probably music to their ears that Nando’s is offering them free chicken, whatever results they get.

Students can choose a free ¼ chicken or Fire Starter as long as they head to their nearest restaurant with their ID, spend a minimum of £7, and show the staff their results.

Nando's chicken

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Nando’s have achieved PR placements across national and regional press, with many going crazy over the offer on social media. The campaign targets the perfect audience – hungry students!

Though it might be slightly annoying that they have to spend £7, the campaign works because Nando’s is targeting a timely event and offering a delicious freebie!

Walkers crisps threaten to ditch three of their most popular flavours!

Staying food-related, Walkers launched a PR stunt claiming it is considering ditching three of its popular flavours – Salt and Vinegar, Prawn Cocktail and Smoky Bacon – and swapping them for international-inspired flavours including American Bacon and Cheddar, Spanish Paprika, and Lime and Black Pepper from Australia.

Putting its fate in the hands of the British public, the company is asking people to ‘choose me or lose me’ by voting for their favourite flavours on the campaign website here.

The ‘crisp referendum’, starting August 14th and closing October 22nd, has caused quite a stir with the public, who are outraged some of their favourite flavours could be scrapped. This is of course what they intended to do, so a well thought out campaign at that!

Walkers crisps PR campaign

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Heinz turns Instagram food porn into real life

Heinz decided to turn people’s craving into reality, by enabling Instagram users to actually eat the delicious food posts they were drooling over.

Videos of burgers made by chef Santi Roig from Underdog Meat & Beers were what greeted Instagrammers who were searching through Stories at around lunch time.

Instagram food porn

Image source: Youtube

The chef then entered the scene and prompted people to do more than have their mouths water. By swiping upwards on the screen, users could order the burger, which Heinz would deliver to them in a personalized box, accompanied by some of the brand’s own products.

Heinz Instagram campaign

Image source: Youtube

You can watch the full campaign here:

This campaign took place in Brazil and has achieved international coverage. It did so well simply because the brand capitalised on a popular Instagram trend – #foodporn!

There is a huge conversation around food and how it rarely looks like the advert or picture on Instagram, and Heinz’s campaign reveals that the Instagram food look is in fact possible.

Photo series documents people’s scars and the stories behind them

Moving away from food campaigns, photographer Sophie Mayanne’s Behind the Scars is a photo series that showcases scars and the stories behind them.

As the Metro states: “From childhood, we’re taught that there’s something dark and dangerous about scars.” People view people with scars as people with flaws, and Sophie wanted to break that message down.

Her series Behind the Scars began as a piece for Petrie magazine in 2016, but once the project gained traction, others wanted to get involved and share their scars and stories. The photo series turns scars into artwork, challenging perceptions and raising questions about so-called ‘flaws’.

Woman with scars

The full photo series can be found here.

IKEA release instructions about ‘How To Make a ‘Game Of Thrones’ Cape’

Believe it or not, it has been revealed that the capes worn on Game of Thrones were actually made from IKEA rugs!

The actors have revealed that their costumes were in fact made out of rugs from IKEA, worth just $79.

IKEA rugs

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In response, IKEA have released instructions on how you can get involved and create your own Game of Thrones-inspired attire:

Creating Game of Thrones cape - step one

Just cut a hole for your head in one of their $79 SKOLD rugs…

Creating Game of Thrones cape - step two

Pop the rug over your shoulders…

Creating Game of Thrones cape - step three

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And you’ll be ready to take on the White Walkers!

Last week our favourite PR campaigns featured boozy sausages, chicken flavoured beer, and a 12-inch sausage roll, you can read about these campaigns here.

Link building without link building

About a year ago, I wrote a blog post about redirecting websites for link equity and ranking improvements. I touched on all the caveats and longevity of the boost, but I also demonstrated how businesses were using it as a strategy to see some pretty significant SEO results.

These days it’s difficult to drive results from organic search. Everyone knows you need good links, quality content, and a sound technical base. However, to see quicker growth, you sometimes must wander slightly off the ‘best practice path’ and test different tactics.

There was a little bit of a debate in the office about redirecting domains and how much benefit it could actually pass and, more importantly, for how long. In short, we decided to invest a little bit of money and give it a go and I’m happy to report that results were good!

We selected the website by scraping the BBC and finding websites that no longer existed or weren’t maintained. We then filtered them to make sure the list we had left was relevant to the website we were eventually going to redirect it to.

$200 later, we had an unmaintained website linked to from every major publishing site in the UK.

You can learn more about finding websites here.

Of course, we did our due diligence thorough link audits and checked websites linked out to from our new domain. We got extremely lucky, with barely anything to clean up.

When it came to the redirect, rather than sending it to the homepage, we redirected it to a category page within the website. It was super relevant and would have given visitors much better information, compared to the old unmaintained website currently in place.

The redirect went in place and a week later we saw this:

SEO visibility after website redirectYes, this is just another search metrics chart showing 25% increase in visibility. So, let’s breakdown the important bits:

  • Top 3 rankings for 10 most important keywords
  • First page rankings for terms that had historically struggled on page 5/6
  • 4,000 additional monthly visitors
  • 200 more monthly leads

Rankings have continued to grow over the past 3 months, and not just for the category the domain was redirected into. It seems to have lifted authority for the entire website, indicating a domain level spread of the link equity.

I must stress that this isn’t just a niche set of keywords where one link from the BBC makes you king – it was in a highly competitive industry where major budgets are being invested in both organic and paid search.

Finally, the boring caveats:

  • We’ve only had 3 months to look at the results, and so it may be that in 6 months the benefit fades.
  • The domain you redirect must be relevant: we’ve tried doing this for link equity alone and the results were minimal or non-existent.
  • Going overboard with this is likely to get you a manual penalty (we have seen this happen before).

Delivering ‘quick’ organic results is a thing of the past, but I genuinely believe this is a safer way of seeing a positive impact quicker.

Non-HTTPS sites immediately lose 58% of potential conversions

According to research conducted by Ofcom, 58% of people won’t hand over their personal information to a website that wasn’t HTTPS-enabled (often identifying this by the padlock symbol).

What do users check before entering personal details?

What users check before entering personal details online

That’s a pretty high percentage loss of potential conversions that were affected by changes to Chrome in January that looked like this:

Changes to HTTP on chrome

…and will be affected again by upcoming changes to how HTTPS is handled in Chrome that will look like this in October:

Upcoming changes to HTTPS on chrome

Firefox has made similar changes in recent months such as on the form below:

Firefox communicating non HTTPS site

Moving from HTTP to HTTPS might make for a small ranking boost – but could mean a substantial increase in conversion rate.

1 in 5 adults assume that a site’s inclusion in a search engine must mean that the information it contains is factually correct

On the other end of the scale, Ofcom’s research shows that 1 in 5 believe whatever information appears on a website found on a search engine results page.

58% of search engine users knew that some of the websites listed would be accurate or unbiased but 21% did not. Ofcom also notes that newer users of the internet are more likely to blindly trust the accuracy of search results – they were 11% more likely to answer that question incorrectly.

This is why Google has come in for so much criticism in the “fake news” debate – and why the search engine is making algorithm tweaks to demote results that don’t look accurate.

Back in April, Google VP of search Ben Gomes said:

“We’ve adjusted our signals to help surface more authoritative pages and demote low-quality content, so that issues similar to the Holocaust denial results we saw back in December are less likely to appear.”

It’s possible that Google is using “payday loan”-esque algorithm additions to police results it’s likely to come under fire for… but it’s more likely that Google is using some of the same trust signals as respondents to the Ofcom report and dial up the visibility of brands.

Interestingly Ofcom’s research also suggests that users are more likely to trust websites that take PayPal payments.  It all goes to show that the public expects big tech companies are doing the due diligence over the sorts of websites they allow to use their products.

10 hidden gems of Google Analytics

I was once told by a client that they wanted to know how to “track everything” with Google Analytics. They were very excited about adding event tracking to every possible click and interaction with the website. While that is possible, it’s good to take a look at what data is available without having to add extra code to your website or another tag within Google Tag Manager (or tag management system of choice).

1) How to search in Google Analytics

If you don’t know what report you need you can use the search bar in the top-left that’s easily missed.

Google Analytics Search Reports

Google Analytics Searching Reports

It only really helps if you know the name of the report. For example if you wanted to find an “iPhone” report you’re probably not going to find it unless you type “mobile” or “device”. Google Analytics have recently launched “Intelligence” (it’s in Beta) that allows you to search for a phrase or question and it brings back some data relating to your query.

Google Analytics Intelligence Beta

Unfortunately (at present) it doesn’t link through to the relevant report, but it’s one way to find data quickly.

If you want to search or filter within a Google Analytics report (only shows 10 rows of data are shown by default) you can do this by using the search box above the table.

Capture-01

You can ramp up your searching by pressed “advanced” which gives you the following options

  • Include or Exclude
  • String multiple rules together
  • Choose conditions based on the dimensions and metrics you’re viewing
  • Using different methods of filter (contains, greater than, matching RegEx, etc.)

Regular Expressions (RegEx) are a really powerful way to quickly search your data in Google Analytics. I have Some resources here to help you if you’re unfamiliar with Regular Expressions.

You can also search for different accounts by using the top-left navigation. By searching the name of the account, you can select the relevant view to quickly change projects.

Search for Account Google Analytics

2) How to see which pages people were on before and after their current page

You could set up event tracking that tracks all internal clicks, but it can be avoided by using the well-hidden Navigation Summary of Google Analytics.

How to find and use Navigation Summary in Google Analytics

Go to Behaviour>Site Content>All Pages. You can then click “Navigation Summary” above the Graph (you are on “Explorer” by default).

Navigation Summary B3-01On Summary report you can see:

  • The percentage of people for whom it was the first page they saw on the website (Entrances)
  • The percentage of people for whom it was the last page they saw on the website (Exits)
  • The percentage of people who came from a previous page or went onto a next page
  • A list of previous pages a user viewed before viewing this page
  • A list of next pages a user viewed after viewing this page

Navigation Summary B3

By default it shows you information for the homepage of your website; this can be changed by clicking the dropdown next to “current selection”. Search for the page you’re interested in (to search, type and press enter) and select the correct page.

Pro Tip: If you have content groupings (if you don’t here’s why you should use content groupings) you can supercharge your navigation summary by clicking “group pages by” and selecting a content grouping.

B3 Content Groupings Google Analytics

You can then see how people progress between types of pages on your website.

3) How to see what links people clicked on

You can use Google’s Page Analytics plugin for Chrome to get a more visual version of the above “next page” data.

Branded3 Page Analytics Google Plugin Chrome

Google Analytics In-Page Analytics not working? There used to be a feature in Google Analytics where you could view this visual data within Google Analytics and it was called “In-Page Analytics”. This is no longer support, and it requires the plugin (linked above) to work. You simply go to the page you want to find information about, and activate the plugin.

By itself, it gives the percentage of people who moved from one page to the next, not the number of people who clicked that exact link. To distinguish between clicks on the same page to the same destination, you need to have Enhanced Link Attribution enabled.

How to implement Enhanced Link Attribution for Page Analytics in Google Analytics

In your Google Analytics code you need to add ga(‘require’, ‘linkid’); before ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);. Full details here. If you’re using Google Tag Manager you need to set “Enable Enhanced Link Attribution” (in the “Advanced Settings” of your Universal Analytics tag) to “True”.

Google Tag Manager Enhanced Link Attribution

As well as amending the code, there is a setting in the admin section of Google Analytics that needs to be turned on. Go to “Property Settings” and then select “Use enhanced link attribution”. In Page Analytics Admin section

Enhanced link attribution is only available on Universal Analytics (analytics.js). If you are still using the old version of Google Analytics (ga.js) I’ve written a universal analytics migration checklist here.

4) How to understand goal drop offs

If your websites goals have strict process to progress (e.g. a form spread across 3 pages or a checkout process) you can understand the drop offs by looking in the Conversions>Goals>Funnel Visualisation report. You can choose which goal you want to view more data on from the dropdown at the top.

Branded3 Funnel Visualisation

To see this you need to create a goal funnel within the goal itself (in the admin section of Google Analytics).

Goal Funnel Google Analytics

Notes: This only works for “Destination” Goals. If you have a series of events that can be considered “steps”, I have instructions on how to do that here. When choosing the match type for the destination page (e.g. RegEx, Exact Match, Contains etc.) it also applies for the steps below.

5) How to understand the pre-conversion path

Before someone decides to make a purchase or to get in touch, what pages were they on?

You can use the Conversion>Goals>Reverse Goal Path report. Like the Funnel Visualisation report you can choose which goal you’d like to see from the report.

This shows the most recent pages that users had been on immediately before making a conversion.

Branded3 Reverse Goal path

Here we can see that most people converted immediately after visiting the homepage, but the services pages were also core conversion lead pages.

6) How to compare different types of user

To compare two different types of user, you can use Advanced Segments which I have written about before. You can create different segments for different user types (e.g. Desktop vs Tablet vs Mobile user or Converters vs Non-Converters) and compare them across reports.

Advanced segments can be really good for diagnosing problems on a website. The example below shows an unusual increase in conversions for all users, but when comparing “all users” to “all users except Germany” we can see that the “extra” conversions all appeared to come from Germany. If Germany is discounted the number of conversions looks more similar to previous weeks which may indicate a spam issue from German IPs.

DE vs Non-DE

To compare two types of traffic quickly, you can use the “plot rows” function which is at the top of any table. Select the rows you want to plot individually on the graph using the checkboxes and press the “plot rows” button.

Plot Rows Google Analytics

Once this is done, these lines are plotted on the graph.

Plot Rows on Graph Google Analytics

7) How to see data about anything you want

If you want to see information that is not initially present in your reporting, you change the dimension of the report to better reflect what you want to see. For example if you go to the Audience>Technology>Browser & OS report, you can see information about “browser” by default but there doesn’t appear to be anything about Operating System. The way to change the dimension in Google Analytics is above the table, near the search bar:

Primary Dimension Google Analytics

By clicking “Operating System” you can change it. Some reports also have an “Other” dropdown.

If you want to compare two dimensions at once (e.g. you want to see the number of Google Organic visitors who were also on Desktop) you can use the Secondary Dimension dropdown – pictured above. Below shows the kind of data that is returned by using a secondary dimension.Secondary Dimensions Google Analytics

8) How to keep track of your change history

Keeping track of changes to your website or Google Analytics settings are very useful, especially if you share data with other Google Analytics users.

Use annotations to mark changes such as:

  • Website migration
  • Adding goals
  • New paid campaigns running
  • A/B testing going live
  • Something that someone who doesn’t have the information about this might see in GA and go “huh I wonder why that spiked/tanked”

To add an annotation click the little arrow underneath the graph. This opens a dropdown where you can write your comment. You can change the date to better reflect the change made. Once added it’ll appear as a clickable speech bubble.

When Stephen Kenwright wrote this blog post it got picked up by a lot of other websties and drove a lot of traffic to the Branded3 website which our servers couldn’t handle. Adding the below annotation, anyone who looks back at 2013’s data and sees a massive spike will know why.

Killer Kenwright

If annotations are not used, fear not, you can go to the admin section of Google Analytics and look at “Change History”. While it doesn’t explain that your servers collapsed or you ran a new e-mail marketing campaign, it keeps track of some changes within the Google Analytics console.

Google Analytics Change History

Change History Example

9) How to do weekly reports quickly in Google Analytics

Instead of clicking through many pages to get all your data, you can create a custom report. I’ve written a post about how to create custom reports in the past. A custom report allows you to get all the data you want into one place, which can then be easily exported.

Custom Report Example

Pro Tip: If you’re on most reports you can click “Customise” at the top to automatically generate a custom report in the style of report you’re currently looking at. You can then amend this to your liking.

Customise Report Google Anlytics

If you want something to glance at quickly, you can create a dashboard to suit your everyday “screenshot this and send to manager” needs. The Dashboard tool allows you to add small “pods” of information that you can glance at quickly to check the performance of a website.

Dashboards Google Analytics

And, if you don’t even want to log into Google Analytics, you can schedule e-mails of any report or dashboard. The “E-mail” button is next to the “customise” button. You can schedule e-mails to send your reports to you whenever it is important to you.
Google Analytics Email SChedule

10) How to show a pie or bar chart in Google Analytics

Most reports show a line graph that represents values over time, as well as a table with the full statistics. If you want to see data in a proportional manner, some reports have display option icons between the graph and the table.

Google Analytic's display option icons

You can use this in some reports to view data in a visual way.

Pie Chart Google Analytics

Takeaways

  • Use the search bar in the top left to find reports
  • Use Google Analytics Intelligence to find stats quickly
  • Use the search bar between the graph and the table to filter your table’s data
  • Search for accounts using the top-left navigation
  • Use Navigation Summary to understand how users moved between pages
  • Use Content Groupings to understand how people used different sections of your website
  • Use Page Analytics to understand where was clicked on a page
  • Use Funnel Visualisation to see where users dropped off the conversion funnel
  • Use Reverse Goal Path to see what pages lead users to a goal
  • Compare user types using Advanced Segments
  • Use the Plot Rows function to see different users types on a line graph
  • Change the Primary Dimension to see statistics for any Google Analytics dimension
  • Add a Secondary Dimension to see data about sessions that fulfilled two criteria
  • Add annotations to keep track of core changes to a website
  • View Change History to see changes to the Google Analytics account
  • Create Custom Reports to shorten reporting time
  • Use Dashboards for day-to-day snapshot reporting
  • Schedule E-mails so you don’t even have to log into Google Analytics to get your reports
  • You can see your data in a different visual format (such as a pie chart) using the visualisation icons above the tables

Today’s PR Menu: Vodka Red Bull sausages, chicken beer, and a 12-inch sausage roll

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for our top five PR campaigns of the week. From chicken beer to vodka sausages, we’ve got some pretty fascinating ones to share with you this week (there are some vegetarian-friendly campaigns too, promise).

One Vodka Red Bull…er, sausage coming right up!

Yes, you read that right. Vodka Red Bull sausages are now a thing thanks to Northern Irish butcher Maguire Meats. The butcher told Belfast Live the boozy sausages were the “the craziest ones we could think of”.

“We gave it a go and it worked out very well and they are very popular,” Keelan Maguire told the paper. “We also added a spicy beef one which is doing well too. It is something different for the BBQ this summer. We have a few other ideas up our sleeve so keep an eye out.”

Although this may seem like a pretty off-the-wall idea, the traction and coverage that this local butcher is gaining from a simple recipe change is pretty outstanding!

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Morrisons has launched a GIANT sausage roll

The last campaign leads us nicely onto our next one – with another sausage snack making waves this week. We were going to include a sausage-related pun, but they’re just the wurst, aren’t they? Ha.

Anyway, Morrisons launched a foot-long sausage roll for £1 and people are going crazy for it. Nearly weighing in at half a kilogram, it’s believed to be the largest sausage roll on sale in any UK supermarket.

Why? Well, Morrisons’ pie and pastry expert, Philippa Shaw, said: “We sell one million freshly baked sausage rolls-a-week but customers have asked for one that is even bigger. So we created this foot-long version.

“With the start of the football season approaching, we’re hoping our foot-long sausage roll will be making its way to the top of the snack league table!”

Morrisons giant sausage roll

This new product launch really has been the talk of the town this week. It’s gained national coverage and has been widely shared – it’s definitely appeared on our newsfeeds at least five times these past few days.

This has received so much attention because it’s one of those things that seems so completely unbelievable that makes you think surely it must just be a bit of fun. But it’s not, it’s real!

Beer that gives you wings*

From one unusual product release to another. I give you *drum roll please*… fried chicken beer!

Like beer? Like chicken? Do you wish there was a mind-blowing blend of both these flavours? Well, two Virginia-based breweries have come together to create an 8% beverage that contains actual fried chicken.

The Veil Brewing Co. and Evil Twin Brewing have teamed up to create ‘Fried Fried Chicken Chicken’ beer. At this moment in time, it’s only available on draft at Veil’s tap room in Richmond, Virginia. Let’s hope they do a pop-up in the UK for us to give it a try – people seem pretty curious and intrigued by this crazy combo.

*Disclaimer: it won’t actually give you wings

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Skywriting 2.0: Boeing’s jet outline stunt over the US

A Boeing jet has drawn an outline of an aeroplane by flying over America with the use of GPS tracking. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner embarked on a 17-hour, 4,000-mile winding route to complete the shape.

Boeing’s jet outline stunt over the US

Even though this may just seem like an elaborate PR stunt (which it was), there was also a practical reason. Boeing wanted to test its new engine in terms of performance and endurance. This was an all-round creative and impressive stunt, which it’s clear a lot of thought had gone into.

#SkySportsDay

This week, a particular social campaign caught our eye. Sky Sports invited several social influencers and bloggers to a Sky Sports Day as part of the promotion around its new line-up channels. The teams reported the day on their Instagram stories (tagging #skysportsday) and well-known sportspeople, like Thierry Henry, were the team leaders.

It was a great way to gain coverage on social, and was very relevant to the audience Sky Sports was trying to target with the new channel.

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You can read our favourite PR campaigns from last week here.