Analytics SEO

MN Search Summit 2015 Empowers SEM Experts

MN Search Summit Helps SEM Experts Learn Top Google Analytics Tactics

The MNSearch Summit is the event to attend when you want to learn all things SEO and Google Analytics related from the industry’s best speakers.

Our MnSearch Summit is a one-day marketing conference that draws national SEO and SEM experts together for an awesome line-up of widely famed authorities on top SEO topics. The Minnesota Search Community is vast. If you are paying attention to earned or paid search, you don’t want to miss the next event. Ever since it’s introduction on Google, Yahoo, Bing and other major browsers, SEM has grown in recognition in recent years due to the measurability and high return on investment that professionals in this niche offer. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a form of digital marketing that Minneapolis SEM experts take on to promote a website on search engines result pages (SERPs). Also known as search engine optimization, Pay per click (PPC) advertising, and/or paid inclusion, it is needed by just about every online business website. However, SEM is mostly known as the practice of pay per click ad management. Google Analytics offers SEO reports that are key to understanding user engagement on your site.

The MN Search Summit 2015 agenda was a powerful line-up of digital marketing experts. Before an attentive audience Jeff Sauer, owner of PPC Mastery Course and Jeff Analytics, revealed high-level insights during his talk on compelling storytelling with Google Analytics data. Read ways the MN Search Summit 2015 empowers SEM experts.

Benchmarking is Key to Quality Google Analytics Data

When a business owner gets benchmarking in place, the data will reveal facts that can turn into a compelling public story. If a business is doing a suburb job, data gleaned from AdWords and Google Analytics data takes messages from opinion-based to evidence-based. Marketing messages put into story format built on well-set up Google Analytics data reveal key insights key stakeholders need. By knowing, It is really hard to deny that mobile is important when the reality is revealed that competitors are doing so. For example: when the data story reveals why a business cannot afford to omit paid mobile, it moves it forward onto the priority list.

Using the benchmarking reports in Google Analytics, tells a business where they are doing well and where they are falling behind. It is important to focus more on this area, especially you want to learn if you are meeting the search user’s intent once they arrive on your site.

“If we are doing well in organic search, social media or other areas, we are rocking it and should tell the story. It is not just an opinion. Using the benchmarking reports offers the data to get validation of things that we know in our heads,” Jeff taught.

Benchmarking reports give us answers right away. They many reveal where competitors are winning or where tagging is missing or needs updating. Empty words are quantified. Validation from the data makes it easier to solve problems.

6 Top Google Analytics Features

Sauer talked about the “how” and “why” of 6 key actions Marketers should consider:

1. Create a marketing story from your online data; don’t leave it to automated data processes.

As more robust ways to use of Google Analytics grows, digital intelligence from data makes storytelling even easier and more accurate. Data storytelling offers businesses the ability to create clear and meaningful pictures of complex metrics through effective storytelling techniques.

Converting measurable data found in Google Analytics into your own words brings together a powerful measurement and presentation tool to help quantify efforts and present a compelling case. Google Analytics is a power tool that is often underutilized for discovering stories, while the data proves accuracy and brings these stories to life.

2. Incorporate demographics to bring insights to marketing segments.

Market segmentation analysis is best done through the Google Analytics platform. If you select particular audience segments, you can gain reports that reflect your target and become essential components of a strong marketing plan. After analyzing your potential audience to decipher key segments, a business can make a better group selection of individuals you will try to attract to your company. Your marketing goal becomes much more than getting visitors or people to walk into your store; rather, you can compel the right consumers with the right message through the right media at the right moment with the right product at the right cost.

3. Utilize filters to block unwanted referral spam.

When a website receives an HTTP or HTTPS request from a spam bot and it includes a fake referrer header, it is instantly recorded in site’s server log. When a server log is publicly accessible i.e. it can be crawled and indexed by Google and other search engines. At which time Google handles the referrer value in your server log as a backlink thus impacting the search engine ranking of the website as if promoted by spammers.

This may align with the intent of spammers when they decide to use spam bots for SEO. Google is sufficiently savvy when crawling is a log file and not a genuine web page and thus devaluing all backlinks from your server log. Such spambots have the capacity to execute JavaScript and can then avoid bot filtering methods used by Google Analytics. Due to this capacity, you can see traffic from such spam-bots in your Google Analytics ‘Referrals’ reports.

4. Create tiers of low, middle, and high budget prognosis.

Google Analytics is useful for businesses of all sizes. Whatever your budget allocation is, getting the most out of GA will be to your advantage.

5. Set-up content and channel groups for deeper insights.

Google Analytics is tremendously powerful once you take the time and allocate business resources to customize your Google Analytics. Now your data and reports can be more useful to their contextual data for your organization. Many business limp along on the standard Google Analytics implementation settings, but we want you to take your data to the next level.

6. Understand what a Google Analytics data annulment may mean.

Customizing Each Media Channel

One powerful way to glean more from Google Analytics is to customize various media channels a business has a presence on. This applies to both organic and paid search. It should branch to cover both branded and non-branded channels. It can be achieved by defining rules in Google Analytics. Jeff described non-brand web traffic as traffic pointed to web pages and posts, but not a

Web Analytics is a key practice of measuring website performance and analyzing how site visitors interact once on web pages. These insights should be used to win more clicks directly in SERPs. Web Analytics applications can help businesses improve their websites to raise their ROI, customer satisfaction, and website usability. There is a tremendous volume of data that you can glean about your site’s performance. Search experts who are certified in Google Analytics can work on adjusting your AdWords campaign bids and conversion rates, testing landing pages and optimizing landing page to improve SEM campaign performance and revenue.

The default channels in Google Analytics are too broad and can offer only vague ideas and a high percentage of traffic unaccounted for. It is best to move beyond the default channels as soon as possible and create specialized/custom channels for better data. Going beyond data on the number of sessions and bounce rate to Social Ads versus PPC Ads, or guest posts versus earned links were a few suggests for obtaining more data.

A successful business typically benchmarks and accrues data for insights on both its own marketing efforts and that of the competition. Business decisions can be made with greater accuracy when both angels are well covered. Too many businesses have relied on perceived value of paid search or opinion, when in fact the story from Google Analytics data later confirmed how amiss that was in their digital marketing strategies.

Minnesota Search Summit 2015 Empowers SEM Experts to Succeed

Jeff Sauer Teaches SEM Expertise on Market SegmentsJeff Sauer - Owner of Jeff Analytics and PPC Mastery CourseJeff Sauer – Owner of Jeff Analytics and PPC Mastery Course

“Market Segments are a goldmine! You can directly target these people with display ads and remarketing”, says Sauer. Past the basic Google Analytics reports, meaningful ways to look at the same data can be a challenge. Knowing how to select and target Industries and Sub-categories to measure can generate data output in a single line for a whole tier. If results are needed for a more granular sub-category, the value can be changed from groupings to “Industry & Sub-category”.

Paid search metrics can also be set-up by spending tier. As well, content curation and the scope of research marketing strategies are improving rapidly. The combination makes coming of age story-telling much easier.

With one simple boxed checked at the account level, bench-marking contributes anonymous data to an aggregate data set. Attendees were shown how this makes benchmarking and publication possible for deciphering data trends.

Use Demographic Data for More Robust Reports

After data is gleaned, it can be used to unearth more customers. Gender, age group, and location are key demographic data useful for both segment standard reports and creating remarketing lists. A business can learn from Google dataset search as to who visits the website and the choices they make once there. Then by using a Segment, it is possible to merge this data with additional interesting dimensions such as campaigns, country or content. Businesses, you can easily supplement your brand story with additional d>ata.

“Stacking demographic on top of our existing customer data allows us to turn the needle in a haystack into a haystack full of needles,” states Jeff in his article titled Google Analytics Demographic Segmentation Techniques*. It is a great read that advancing PPC strategists will want to consume.

More Ways to Benefit From Insights Gleaned in Google Analytics Data

• The paybacks of organic search spend can be validated within a business’s data reports.

• Alternatives to the not-provided keywords in Google Analytics can fill in the missing data on web traffic and content.

• Data from a drill down to the page level in Google Analytics gives a closer look where a periscope view is wanted.

• You can prove just how a business has grown its online presence year-over-year.

• By defining new channels data can be gained that reveals new advertising opportunities.

• Data can be gained that tells the story of is working or lacking in mobile paid media and help businesses stay better informed of their Google ranking changes.

• A business has the ability to learn how a page’s word count positively or negatively impacts local and organic search results.

• Utilizing available tools for getting past quality issues or referrer spam problems that may demerit data quality.

Keep Learning as the World of Google Analytics Data Evolves

Because knowledge found in accurate data moves previous business “guesses” from the shadows into informed light, it is important to be current with data mining in Google Analytics and AdWords. Now there are more reports that ever to help you understand your mobile advertising metrics.

For an example of a recent change: a website’s image clicks will now be calculated on expanded images, whereas previous search query reports counted clicks on both expanded and un-expanded imageries. Another update: going forward all search links to an individual website will be counted as a single impression rather than multiple impressions. Since data improvements include new counts in a different manner than the outdated Search Queries report, a business can expect a decrease in reported search traffic. The win is that more accurate data overall is gained.


10 alternatives to keyword(not provided)

1. Measure overall organic traffic over a sufficient scope of time

2. Segment organic search traffic by landing page

3. Use landing pages as a secondary dimension for Google Analytics reports

4. Use filters to make the keyword not -provided section more meaningful

5. Use multi-channel funnels to prove value to clients

6. Integrate your Google Analytics account with Google Search Console

7, Segment organic search traffic by demographics

8. Create custom dashboards to surface the most important metrics a business can learn from

9. Integrate Paid & organic search reports in AdWords

10. Use Google Trends to round out insights found in Google Analytics

Networking at MNSearch Summit

One hallmark of a great SEO Summit is without a doubt the numerous opportunities to network with peers and meet new SEO professionals. Attending opens up the unique opportunity to network with attendees, prospects for collaborating on projects, and yes, even getting to know your competitors better. At the MN Search Summit, you can connect with the many world-class SEOs in the crowd. Nothing beats a real face-to-face conversation! I personally have gained a lot of insights – sometimes a niche that few hands were in and that I could fill. I might have missed that otherwise.

Connecting with others who are higher up on the steep learning curve in SEO, SEM and PPC help to create new relationships. Your future may be built on them. I found several local top recruiting staff attends as well – if that is a form of network you are growing. Whether seeking referral work or identifying new prospects, when you network with like-minded professionals at MN Search it helps you to contribute to making it a truly, unique and exciting event.

It is a fun event. Generally, we have a hardcore group of speakers who also enjoy the more pleasant sides of life and who are usually likely to discuss issues over a drink and a story.


1. Turn your Google Analytics data into a great story — don’t let computer machines win

2. Develop a low/middle/high budget projection to fit business needs for Google Analytics

3. Use demographics to inform marketing segments

4. Set up content & channel groupings for better insights

5. Install filters to block some referral spam that hinders good Google Analytics data

6. Demand a Google Analytics data annulment if needed

Jeff Sauer led the charge during his talk on Google Analytics to help Minneapolis SEM experts provide performance-driven digital marketing for any size business. As enthusiasts who know how important it is for you to compete online, having peers and mentors to share ideas with and grow our pool of experts means that we can offer our clients more. Whether you are running a small business or a global one, we can provide search engine marketing and depth of knowledge to make any budget, large or small, work to its maximum to cover your business needs.

It is important at strategic times to step back, take a look at your business’s bigger marketing picture and consider every aspect of your efforts. We find that with a holistic approach of meshing Google Analytics with managing your Google AdWords account, businesses can put their advertising dollars where it makes the most sense.

“Over 10 years of experience in Google AdWords and Analytics data quality issues were behind the cutting edge insights offered at the summit. I have taken Jeff’s course and yet am amazed at how much there is to continually learn and offer clients. After organic search wins, it is tremendous to add paid media to drive sales.” ~ Jeannie Hill

Cutting edge topics in SEM, SEO, PPC, analytics, email, content curation, social media strategies and much more energized attendees of the MN Search Summit. The board members did an outstanding job of ensuring high value at every session, lots of networking, opportunities to meet the speakers, and a fun atmosphere.

NOTE: Many thanks for the images provided by Sarah Danks of Snapshots by Sarah.

NOTE: Jeff Sauer can be reached at Digital Mantis, Inc., 8 10th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 or by email at

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Services

Hill Web Marketing is a Google Analytics Certified Partner and offers a range of web analytics services, SEM, and SEO that will suit your search engine marketing needs and budget. I am eager to help your business get more from your Google Analytics account. You will be amazed at how much predictive analytic data your business can benefit from. Hill Web Marketing is often noted for being transparent and giving all of the accounts the full attention they deserve. Call 651-206-2410 and request a free 1/2 hour consultation

Plan to come ready in 2023 with pen and pencil, or digital tablet, as most Minneapolis digital search marketers do. There is a tremendous amount of new insights given on all topics search related. I learn much as well from the Q and A sessions – those typically follow. The presenters are terrific and go above and beyond to answer all queries. Additionally, networking and sharing of SEO ideas goes on all day among eager event participants. Connect with us for further areas of marketing skill improvement.

Learn how to improve your website’s data by learning ideal uses of the Google AdWords Editor