Don’t Be Fooled by Data: 4 Data Analysis Pitfalls & How to Avoid Them

Posted by Tom.Capper

Digital marketing is a proudly data-driven field. Yet, as SEOs especially, we often have such incomplete or questionable data to work with, that we end up jumping to the wrong conclusions in our attempts to substantiate our arguments or quantify our issues and opportunities.

In this post, I’m going to outline 4 data analysis pitfalls that are endemic in our industry, and how to avoid them.

1. Jumping to conclusions

Earlier this year, I conducted a ranking factor study around brand awareness, and I posted this caveat:

“…the fact that Domain Authority (or branded search volume, or anything else) is positively correlated with rankings could indicate that any or all of the following is likely:

  • Links cause sites to rank well
  • Ranking well causes sites to get links
  • Some third factor (e.g. reputation or age of site) causes sites to get both links and rankings”
    ~ Me

However, I want to go into this in a bit more depth and give you a framework for analyzing these yourself, because it still comes up a lot. Take, for example, this recent study by Stone Temple, which you may have seen in the Moz Top 10 or … Read the rest

December 7, 2017  Tags: , , , , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

45 Local SEO Pitfalls & How to Avoid Them

Posted by MiriamEllis

localseopitfallfinal.jpg

The classic 1982 Activision game, Pitfall!, was so challenging that most players believed you could only win by running out the 20-minute clock. The real point of this adventure, however, was to gather up all of the treasures before the clock ran out on you.

Isn’t that just like business?

You’ve opened the doors of your local enterprise in hopes of gathering up enough revenue before it’s time to retire, and you’re determined to make enough of a success to secure some dignity in your golden years.

I’m not a professional economist, but I’ve read their statistics on how half of US businesses don’t make it past their 5th year. I’m a local SEO, and what I’ve learned is that to be agile enough to beat the odds, local business owners have to swing over the obvious pitfalls that less savvy competitors are doomed to become mired in. A plumbing company fakes a string of locations by using their siblings’ houses to build citations, a dentist hires a notorious marketing agency to pay global workers for fictitious reviews, an auto dealership takes a quick link building shortcut and ends up with a long-term … Read the rest

August 1, 2017  Tags: , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

Backlinks from Client Sites, Sites You Own, Widgets, & Embedded Content: How to Maximize Benefits & Avoid Problems – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

When it comes to certain kinds of backlinks, avoiding penalties can be a real gray area. How can you earn the benefits without gaining the scrutiny of Google? In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand will teach you which rules to follow to keep you safe and on the up-and-up, all while improving your link profile.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week, we’re going to chat about a question we see a lot here at Moz, around what you should do with websites that you maybe design or build or do work for, your clients’ websites if you’re an agency or consultant, or a web designer or builder, sites that you own but are not your primary website, and widgets and embeds, blogrolls, all these kinds of things where you control the link infrastructure, or could control it, and should you.

I think one of the challenges here is to understand that many folks have recognized that, over the years, widgets, embeds, links from client websites have gotten other sites penalized, potentially even yourRead the rest

November 25, 2016  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

How to Avoid the Unrealistic Expectations SEOs Often Create – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

With all the changes we’ve seen in the field of SEO in recent years, we need to think differently about how we pitch our work to others. If we don’t, we run the risk of creating unreal expectations and disappointing our clients and companies. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand explains how to set expectations that will lead to excitement without the subsequent let-down.

For reference, here’s a still of this week’s whiteboard!

This Week's Whiteboard.

Video transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re going to chat a little bit about the expectations that SEOs create and sometimes falsely create. It’s not always our fault, but it is always our responsibility to fix the expectations that we create with our teams, our managers, our executives, and, if we’re consultants, with our clients.

So here’s the problem. This is a conversation that I see happen a lot of the time. Here’s our friendly SEO guy over here, and he’s telling his client, “Hey, if we can rank on page 1 for even 10% of all these terms that I’ve selected, we’re going to drive a 500% increase in leads.”

Here’s the client over

Read the rest

December 12, 2014  Tags: , , , , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

Avoid Common Google Analytics Bugs and Misunderstandings that Lead to Bad Data

Posted by CraigBradford

Problems in Google Analytics are causing you to get bad data, misunderstand reports and draw wrong conclusions. Many of these are not your fault, they’re due to settings, bugs and the configuration of Google Analytics. There are also some that are just easy to misunderstand and that I’ve seen trip up even experienced consultants. 

Read on to learn what you need to look for.

Beware of sampling bugs

My team and I have recently seen some strange sampling issues/bugs in Google Analytics. We were looking at the landing page report with an advanced filter. All sessions were reported around 15k. Applying an advanced segment to the same report, all sessions were inflated by about 2.6x to 40k. See the image below: 

We’ve seen this in other reports too, but we’re still unsure why this is happening. We’ve reported it to Google and they think it is a bug. If anyone else knows why this is happening, I’d be interested in hearing why in the comments below. For now, all we can do is be aware that this can happen.

Don’t trust funnel visualisation

Funnel visualisation is one of the reports that people love to use. It’s great in theory, looks … Read the rest

December 6, 2014  Tags: , , , , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments



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