Week 5 – Google Analytics and AdWords

4 03 2011

How often do you use a search engine?

Your answer to this question is most probably, “pretty much every time I use the internet.”

When you use a search engine though, how likely would you venture past the first page of results? Most people tend to say “unlikely” and many say they wouldn’t even look beyond the top three results. Due to this online behaviour and the ever increasing number of websites available on the internet in the digital world we live in today, it has become intensely competitive to rank highly in search engine results.

To be shown in the top results for keywords entered by search engine users, a webpage or website must be rated higher than web pages and websites also containing the key words entered. “The rank of a web page for certain queries on the most popular search engines determines their online visibility to a large extent” (Pan et al. 2007 pp10) which therefore, significantly reduces the chances of reaching lucrative internet users.

According to Pan et al. 2007, highly ranked wed page:

  • Has the keywords searched by the user in the Universal Resource Locator (URL)
  • Has the keywords searched by the user in the link anchor text
  • Has large font size for the keywords and uses them frequently on the page

Search Engine Marketing

Although the competition of reaching consumers online through search engines is fears, there are many tools which are freely available which can significantly help those looking to get the most out of their website.  Google analytics and google Adwords are among the most popular of tools which are used by a diverse range of well know companies including Dolby, Agency.com and Yelp.

To illustrate how these tools can benefit an organisation, I have chosen ASDA as an example.

Google analytics

Search engine optimisation

Asda is ranked 2nd in the supermarket market, behind Tesco, who dominate the market, with a share of 30.8% (Guardian 2010).  Despite being ranked as 2nd in the market, when relevant key words such as “leading supermarkets” and “best supermarkets” are searched using Google, Asda fails to appear on the first page of results. As well, talking in general terms of relevant keywords (excluding the company’s name), it is apparent that it’s rare for Asda to appear higher than 8th on the results list. Out of the keywords which were searched, “food shopping” and “food stores” were the only words where ASDA appeared in the top 3 results.

In relation to competitors, it is seen as consistent for Asda’s competitors to appear higher up in the results list in comparison to Asda, particularly Tesco. For example, when the keywords, “supermarket offers” were searched, Asda did not even appear on the first page of results, whereas Tesco was displayed first and Morrisons 7th in the list.

With the help of Google Analytics, Asda could shorten this gap between where it is ranked in relation to its competitors. Google analytics allows you to identify what keywords visitors are using to reach the website. For example, if Asda identify particularly strong trends in the use of particular keywords then they could prioritise featuring these words frequently on their web pages and in the link anchor text. This is one of many features which can provide benefit to companies. others exist such as helping companies to efficiently spend their advertising budget by tracking email campaigns and banner ads as well as sales and conversion. Google analytics may show that poor conversion rates exist for email campaigns. Asda can then act on this and perhaps limit their attention and investment to email campaigns and focus their efforts on more lucrative marketing methods. Also Multimedia tracking is another feature which could help Asda significantly. If google analytics show that the majority of visits are from mobile devices then marketing efforts could be priorited to that mediaum to maximise sales.

 Google AdWords

Currently Asda makes limited use of Google Adwords in contrast to competitors such as Tesco. When keywords such as “supermarket”, ”supermarkets”, ”grocery shops” and “food shopping” are searched using Google, a Tesco advertisement appear in the Google ad column (shown below) whereas limited advertisements show for Asda, only appearing once when the keyword “grocery shopping” was searched.

As an attempt to improve sales and increase its market share, Asda should perhaps consider using more of Google Adwords. Asda could use trends identified using Google analytics to their advantage, to decide upon what will best attract Google users to click their ad. For example, if reports gained from using Google analytics show that the majority of customers are returning customers then the Advertisment could consist of an incentive to encourage purchases by new customers.




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