Skip to main content
Posted in

Search Engine Optimization

GTM & AdWords Calls From Site Conversion Tutorial

Tonight I came across a really nice tutorial covering setting up Google AdWords call conversion tracking on a website using Google Tag Manager by Red Fly Marketing.

If you end up coming across this first, go read it.

You may notice I left a comment about CDATA comments. I found that blog post so useful that I am writing this and sharing it before they have replied or I have had a chance to test the code. I have every reason to think it will work but again, I have not tested it.

If you’re using Google AdWords call conversion tracking on your website and using Google Tag Manager (or considering implementing it) I think you’ll find it useful.

OSX Software for SEO, Automation & Development

After you update your OS, the surest way to know that everything will work right is to make sure you have all the software that is likely to be used installed.

This is a long list, and most of it is command-line software but you’ll like it because it’s mostly “package management,” “task automation,” and “version control,” and “virtualization” software.

Package/Dependency Management: Installs stuff for you (like homebrew)

Task/Automation: Builds and tests stuff for you

Version Control: Let’s you change/update/revert software easily

Virtualization: Let’s you install software on a “virtual machine” so you can run Windows/Linux software on your Mac (also lets you install software on a ‘virtual’ computer which greatly reduces the risk of any software/malware/problems hurting your computer.

Follow the step by step instruction in this awesome tutorial:

Install (or Update)

  1. Install ‘Git’
  2. Install ‘Homebrew
  3. Install ‘RVM
  4. Install ‘XCode’
  5. Install ‘XCode Command Line Tools’
  6. Install ‘XQuartz

Additionally Install (in this order):

  1. Install ‘Node.js‘  (includes NPM)
  2. Install ‘Yeoman‘(includes yo, bower, grunt)
  3. Install ‘Compass‘ (includes Sass)
  4. Install ‘Virtual Box
  5. Install ‘Vagrant

Recommended (all available from Get Mac Apps) :

  1. Install ‘Sublime Text 3
  2. Install ‘Gimp‘ (open-source bitmap graphics editor, a PhotoShop alternative)
  3. Install ‘Inkscape‘ (open-source vector graphics editor, an Illustrator alternative)
  4. Install ‘The Unarchiver‘ (make and open archive files easily)
  5. Install ‘Alfred‘ (fantastic productivity shortcut application)

Last time I updated my OS, it ‘broke’ everything so don’t rely on anything you already installed to work after you update.

Almost all of those have clear, simple directions (either a copy and paste command line prompt for Terminal or a ‘click here to download’ button).

If you have any problems feel free to send me questions.

Follow all the directions and you should be fine.

SEO Qualifications and Responsibilities

Senior Analyst & SEO

It’s difficult to write a resumé when your skills and experience, not to mention the requirements of most jobs in the field are so varied. When I came across a blog post describing the merits of being a ‘T-shaped’ web marketer, I realized he was describing me.

I think of myself as a holistic marketer. I love analytics because it allows me to see what is working and what isn’t. I like SEO because it offers cumulative benefits and amounts to investing in yourself. Sure, owned and bought channels are fine too (and have their unique strengths) but I still think the lion’s share of an online marketing budget should be invested in your own properties—whenever possible.

With that preface, I give you my resumé substitute.


Compile reports with a solid understanding of Excel spreadsheet formulas
Background in development and design, basic Excel skills…learning more.
Pull data from multiple platforms (Google Analytics, Omniture SiteCatalyst, Webtrends, Webmaster Tools)
Very familiar with Google Analytics (including ‘Universal Analytics’) and Webmaster Tools (Google and Bing).
Develop webpage and social media asset optimizations based on keyword research
Comfortable with multiple keyword tools including AdWords, Google Trends, Bing Webmaster Tools, SEM Rush, Analytics.
Execute link building strategy
Currently following this strategy.
Create sitemaps
I create both HTML and XML sitemaps for all projects.
Work efficiently through task lists and utilize project management tools
I complete all needed taks, happy to learn PM tools.
Support business development and account teams as needed in SEOsales and presentations.
I have experience in sales, retail, customer service and traditional marketing and I am comfortable with presenting and speaking publicly.
Present new tools to the internal team
A major reason that I have my own website is so that I can test new tools and techniques and explain/utilize them accordingly.
Perform other optimization duties as needed
Of course.


1 – 3 years’ experience in SEO
2.5 years SEO experience, never been punished by a Google Algorithm update,
Knowledge of social media and search engine marketing (SEM)
Already obtained my voucher for the Google AdWords certified paartner test, studying for it now. Familiar with social media optimization and best-practices.
Expertise with Microsoft Office, especially Excel
Not expert but I get by and I have been focusing on learning Excel (and for that matter the spreadsheets in Google Docs) lately.
Understanding of basic web development technologies with the ability to tweak HTML
I have worked as a front-end devloper and do web performance optimization work that is a mixture of front and back-end work regularly…strong interest in standards, semantics (including Semantic Web), accessibility, usability, and internationalization.
Ability to perform keyword research utilizing a variety of tools
Experience developing back links for websites
Understanding of core SEO concepts and why certain search results appear for various keywords
Experience with at least one of the following is strongly preferred: local SEO, mobile SEO, or social media optimization (SMO)
Most experienced with local but I am familiar with mobile (particularly the SEO boost from mobile/responsive sites (when done correctly).
Experience with Fortune 1000 brands and/or within an agency environment
Agency environment, check.
Innovative thinker, intuitive learner, with ability to quickly find solutions in fast-moving industry
Excellent research and writing skills with an attention to detail
Ability to multi-task and handle other duties as assigned
Financial or automotive experience is a plus
Unfortunately not.
Spanish or French proficiency is a plus
I speak functional Spanish.
BA/BS or equivalent
I don’t have a college degree but I do have almost 4 years college, a vocation certificate (in Commercial Art) and over 3 years experience as a web professional handling a wide array of responsibilities including SEO, PPC, Analytics, web development, email marketing, design, social media and more.

Encrypted Search and Google Hummingbird: My Ideas

The collective SEO and analytics communities have a lot to talk about right now; Google released Hummingbird, its’ biggest algorithm change in over a decade, and made it clear that it is rapidly moving towards 100% encrypted search (which means no keyword referral data for those of us who work with analytics).

I started this post in response to a thread on Linked In, but I realized that I had more to say than could fit there. If you searched these terms and found this post you probably have a job like mine so feel free to skim, skip to the possible solutions, act like you knew it all along, or share with others…please! :)

Why Semantic Search Is Better than Keywords

Keyword data can be valuable but let me explain a real world pitfall: I’d like this site to rank for ‘SEO company columbus ohio’, yet a larger proportion of queries are for ‘SEO companies…’

Which version (or both) should I put in the title of the home page? What about the h1 and that precious first line of the first paragraph? And what about ‘firm(s)’ or ‘consultant(s)?’

‘Companies’ is inaccurate, but has twice the volume of ‘company’…hmm.

I think we all see where this is headed.

What modern inbound marketer hasn’t faced such a dilemma? Who among us hasn’t competed with a large organization with no local presence that has optimized for exactly most commonly searched product or service phrasing followed by a city or state?

That is keyword search and it kinda sucks; it’s dumb and easy to manipulate. For another good explanation check out this Hummingbird FAQ by Danny Sullivan, especially read the examples about halfway down the article.

Semantic (linguistic or Semantic Web) and intent based search (Hummingbird) seems a little more natural and genuine. Search engines had already gotten pretty good at understanding intent, interests, misspellings…in short, natural language. You know, build sites for users, not for search engines and all that jazz.

Potential Solutions to the Lack of Keyword Data

search result stating that yahoo gets more traffic than Google in 2013

First of all, let’s not forget there are other search engines and I haven’t heard they plan to stop passing keyword data. Even if Bing and Yahoo! continue at a humble 20% search market share, that is enough of a sample to provide a meaningful sample, and both of them have been more aggressive in their marketing lately (recall that for the first time since 2011 Yahoo! got more visitors than Google, and Bing’s ‘Bing It On’ campaign).

As for the rest of these I’ll spare you the prose, here’s the list:

Note: I am always careful to sort queries by Google property, and then likely filter out searches that are likely to have lower ‘buying intent’ (e.g. image searches). If you don’t do this it is entirely possible that pages which receive a lot of image/video traffic will have skewed data making it harder to divine searched phrases.

Lastly, use controlled experiments. Maybe you simultaneously create 2 very similar pages, each with a phrase variation to test. Give them a month to get indexed and see which does better (rank, conversions, visitors etc.). Granted, that seems a little spammy and is a pain in the butt however, if you are feeling bold you could alternate phrasing every month or few and after a few cycles could probably get a decent idea for which performs better.