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seo in dubai Tim Jensen – Search Engine Land News On Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Thu, 05 Dec 2019 20:10:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 5 audiences you should exclude from your PPC campaigns /5-audiences-you-should-exclude-from-your-ppc-campaigns-325874 Mon, 02 Dec 2019 20:17:29 +0000 /?p=325874 Negative audiences help reduce wasted spend and prevent shoppers from being retargeted with products too many times.

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With the blurring of match type accuracy, PPC has become more about audience targeting than ever before. Ad platforms offer almost infinite ways to slice and dice audiences to reach the perfect customers for your brand.

As you build an audience strategy, identifying the people you don’t want to target is just as important as finding the people you do want to reach. Negative audiences help reduce wasted spend, ensure people see the right messaging at the right stage of the funnel, and prevent weary shoppers from being retargeted with products too many times.

In this article, I’ll share five audiences you should consider excluding from some or all of your PPC campaigns.

Job seekers

If job applicants are coming to your outdoor gear site simply to look for open positions, chances are they’re probably not in the market for a new backpack. So you don’t want to waste retargeting spend showing them ads for your latest sale.

You can generally identify these people by building a URL-based audience for the Careers page on your site. If you link to a third-party site for job applications, see if you can pixel that site, or track clicks to that site as a Google Analytics event to then build an audience for exclusion.

Current customers

Current customers fall under the PPC industry’s favorite “it depends” category. Depending on your business model, you may want to exclude current customers from all campaigns.

You can create the audience for exclusion by uploading a customer match list of emails associated with customers. In addition, if your product offers a web-based login, you can build a retargeting audience based on people who have accessed pages that would indicate their status as a paying customer.

In some cases, you may want to continue to target existing customers. For instance, some software clients I work with have opportunities to upsell current customers on additional features. You may want to segment customers so they aren’t included in campaigns related to Product A, which they already pay for, but include them in campaigns related to Product B.

Along the same lines, e-commerce brands often find value in recurring revenue from people who bought in the past. You can segment past purchasers into their own audiences to see how these individuals perform and bid accordingly.

Support seekers

If people are browsing support pages, they’re more than likely existing customers looking for help using your product, not shopping for your product. You can build retargeting audiences based on URLs associated with the support section of your site and exclude these from campaigns.

Of course, nuances apply, as in other instances, where you may want to target existing customers in some cases. For example, people looking for support with one product could be upsold on an additional add-on. Or if you offer premium support you can promote that opportunity through remarketing.

Past converters

Your strategy for targeting or excluding past converters (not necessarily customers, but people who have engaged with a conversion action such as submitting a contact form) will also depend on your business goals. As one example, say you have a multi-step funnel for working people up to the point of sales.

At the initial point of contact, people are offered an asset in exchange for their information. After submitting the form, you can then add them to a retargeting list based on hitting the “thank you” page for that asset.

Next, you exclude them from the asset campaign, since they already have the asset in hand, but add the audience to another campaign where the call-to-action is to schedule a product demo. You can then ensure you’re not duplicating messaging for something they’ve already seen (annoying them and likely wasting your money) but instead moving them to take the next step of raising their hand for interest in your product.

Retargeting audiences in non-retargeting campaigns

If you’re running dedicated retargeting campaigns, make sure you’re not also still reaching the same people in other campaigns. This setup allows both data and ad messaging to stay properly segmented by audience.

For instance, you may be running an interest targeting campaign on Facebook. People who come to your site from that campaign are added to a retargeting audience and served separate messaging, but also still fall under the original interests audience. You’ll want to add the retargeting audience as an exclusion in the interest targeting campaign to keep from duplication.

Start refining your audiences

While this article offers five examples of potential negative audiences, you may brainstorm others as you think through your marketing approach and the people you do (or don’t) want to see your ads. Stop wasting money on the wrong people who won’t convert, and focus your spend toward the right audience!

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Getting started with Google Tag Manager /getting-started-with-google-tag-manager-322581 Tue, 24 Sep 2019 19:41:52 +0000 /?p=322581 Here's how you set up a GTM account, create your first tags and triggers, and use the platform to streamline your tracking setup process.

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Ever put in a development ticket for what you thought would be a simple tracking code update? And then waited weeks for the task to be completed?

Google Tag Manager (GTM) saves marketers and developers alike by allowing you to set up tracking codes for analytics and ad platforms through one simple interface. In this article, I’ll walk through setting up a GTM account, creating your first tags and triggers, and using the platform to streamline your tracking setup process.

Understanding Google Tag Manager hierarchy

The account is the top level of GTM hierarchy. If you’re managing GTM from an agency login, you’d generally want to create one account per each brand you work with, and a container for each website that brand uses. You can access multiple accounts via the same Google login.

A container includes a unique GTM code, which you should add across the site you want to track.

Within each container, you’ll then set up tags that fire tracking codes on your site. Triggers define when tags will fire. Variables are functions you can use on a more granular level indicate when tags will fire.

Setting up your account

To start setting up your account, go here and click “Start for Free.”

You’ll then see a screen where you create an account.

Enter the relevant info into the fields and select the platform. In this article, we’re talking about using GTM for web, but you can also set up accounts for apps and AMP (Google’s framework for mobile pages).

Click Create, and you’ll see the GTM code, which you can then add to the site. If you’re comfortable editing your site’s source code, add the first code within the <head> and the next code right after the opening <body> tag, or send the codes to a developer to install.

Depending on your CMS, you may also be able to set up GTM via a plugin. If your site is on WordPress, try this Google Tag Manager for WordPress plugin.

Setting up tags

GTM includes several built-in tag templates for major analytics and ad platforms. These include Google products, such as Analytics, Ads, Optimize, and Surveys, as well as several third-party platforms, such as AdRoll, Microsoft Advertising, LinkedIn and Quora. If a tracking tag doesn’t have an existing template, you can also use a Custom HTML or Custom Image tag.

To create your first tag, click “Add a new tag” from the Overview screen. 

Now you can start defining criteria for your tag.

In the top field, add a name. Be sure to think about naming conventions that will allow you to keep track of several tags easily. I like to start with the name of the platform associated with the tag, followed by the type of tag and unique criteria.

For instance:

  • Google Ads – Conversion – Brochure Download
  • Google Ads – Conversion – LP Lead
  • Google Ads – Remarketing

Clicking within the “Tag Configuration” box allows you to choose your tag type. You can scroll through to find your desired tag, or you can click the magnifying glass to search by name.

Once you select your tag, you’ll see fields customized based on the associated platform. You can then fill in the criteria.

Generally, for each template, you’ll need to pull an ID number from your analytics or ad platform, and then you can use the additional fields to adjust what you want to track.

Have the code for a tracking tag, but don’t see a template? Choose a Custom HTML tag type, and paste your code into the box. 

Setting up triggers

Next comes the Triggering box, where you can choose a trigger that will cause your tag to fire. Triggers can be based on a number of actions such as pageviews, clicks, element visibility, form submissions, time on site, custom events and more.

Choose the trigger you want and then use the fields to specify criteria.

For instance, this pageview trigger will fire when the /thanks URL is viewed. You can also add multiple conditions, all of which will need to be true before the trigger fires. For instance, you might want to only fire a tag if a certain page is viewed and a user completes an event on the page.

Enabling variables

Note that a limited amount of variables appear in your options by default when setting up triggers. If you want to delve into more precise customization, be sure to enable additional variables in the interface.

Navigate to the Variables section and select “Configure” by “Built-In Variables.” You can now select the additional ones you’d like to add. For instance, you might want to target clicks for buttons that all have the same CSS class. You can check the box next to “Click Classes” and you’ll now see this variable as an option.

You can also create custom variables from the User-Defined Variables section. One common use is the Google Analytics Settings variable, which holds your Google Analytics ID to be used whenever setting up an Analytics tag. Custom events are also useful to target specific actions on the site that can’t be otherwise pinpointed with the default variables.

Going live and testing

All changes you make within GTM occur in a draft mode that doesn’t go live until you submit it. You can preview your setup on your site by using the Preview button on the upper right. You’ll see a bar at the bottom of your browser window letting you know when tags fire. 

Once you’ve confirmed your setup appears to be accurate, click “Submit” to make everything live.

After deploying tags on your site, you can also test for proper installation with Google Tag Assistant. Install the Chrome extension and navigate to the site. Click the Tag Assistant icon, and select “Enable” for your site.

You should now be able to see what tags are firing on your site, as well as if there are any errors. Click on an individual tag to see more details about errors and any recommendations to fix your implementation.

Start streamlining your tracking

Once you’ve set up your GTM account, take the time to play with setting up tags. A global Google Analytics tag, a Google Ads remarketing tag and a Google Ads conversion tag are good ones to start.

Once all your ad platforms’ tags are represented, you can now make simple adjustments if changes are made to the site (for instance, if Thank You page URLs change) directly through GTM versus having to change hard-coded tags on the site.

When you’re ready to move beyond the basics, you can learn about additional actions you can track. On Nov. 13 at SMX East, I’ll be talking about how to amp up your user engagement with Google Tag Manager, through tracking actions like scroll activity, video views and PDF downloads.

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Simplifying Google Analytics configuration with Google Tag Manager /simplifying-google-analytics-configuration-with-google-tag-manager-320002 Mon, 29 Jul 2019 17:40:48 +0000 /?p=320002 Using analytics through GTM allows you to simplify the code in place on your site and quickly set up advanced features like cross-domain tracking.

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Google Analytics is a crucial part of any online marketer’s toolbox. Getting analytics data starts with a proper installation of the tracking code. Thankfully, Google Tag Manager makes this process simple, even when modifications to the Analytics code are required.

Google Tag Manager (GTM) allows you to deploy Google Analytics tracking without adding any further code to your website. Extensive configuration options allow you to tweak the setup based on your needs.

In this article, I’ll cover how to set up Google Analytics through GTM, along with some tips for customization based on your needs.

Installing a global Google Analytics tag

Navigate to your desired GTM account and container. From the Overview screen, select “Add a new tag.”

Next, click within the Tag Configuration box to choose a tag type. Select “Google Analytics: Universal Analytics.”

Leave the “Track Type” dropdown set to “Page View.” Next, under “Google Analytics Settings,” choose “New Variable.”

Now, you’ll create a variable that includes your unique Google Analytics Tracking ID. After a one-time setup, you’ll be able to reuse this variable in any future GA tags. You can also customize settings for the variable under “Advanced Configuration,” or override settings within a specific tag by checking the “Enable overriding settings” box.

Find your Tracking ID (you can locate this quickly by going to Tracking Info > Tracking Code within the Admin section of your GA account) and paste it into the respective field in GTM. Name and save the variable.

Now, return to editing your tag and select the GA variable you created.

Next, click within the Triggering section to choose which pages you want the tag to appear on. To deploy globally wherever your GTM code is in place, select “All Pages.” Submit changes to push your tag live.

Event tracking

Events are incredibly useful in Google Analytics to track any interactions that aren’t registered by default. Some possible actions include clicks on elements within pages, scroll activity, file downloads, video views, and form submissions.

To fire an event, choose “Event” from the “Track Type” dropdown when creating your GA tag. Next, fill in the fields with the appropriate parameters for your event.

For instance, in this example, we’re tracking a whitepaper download. Our fields include:

  • Category: “Whitepaper”
  • Action: “Download”
  • Label: “Blue Whitepaper”

Also note the Non-Interaction Hit dropdown. By default, when set to “False,” the event will count as an interaction, meaning the session won’t be considered a bounce if the user completes the associated action. If you set this dropdown to “True,” a user could complete the action but still count as a bounce if they leave the page before doing anything else.

Cross-domain tracking

If you’re using the same Google Analytics account across multiple domains, you should enable cross-domain tracking to ensure that users are being tracked properly when going from one domain to another. Otherwise, they’ll be seen as separate visitors to each domain.

First, under “More Settings” for your GA variable, open the “Fields to Set” section. Type “allowLinker” for Field Name and “true” for Value.

Next, further down in the “More Settings” options, click the “Cross Domain Tracking” dropdown. In the “Auto Link Domains” field, insert all domains you’d like to track, separated by commas.

If you’re using a form that takes a user to another domain upon submission, you’ll also want to choose “True” in the “Decorate Forms” dropdown.

Save the variable and submit to push live. You should now see unified reporting across domains, eliminating duplication of user counts if the same people visit multiple sites with your GA tag.

Enhanced link attribution

Google offers a handy Page Analytics Chrome extension, which allows you to visualize click data for links on your site. You can see how many clicks occurred on each link, as well as what percentage of total clicks for a page went to each.

Unfortunately, by default, this report groups together counts for any links going to the same URL. So if you link to the same URL from both a top navigation bar and your site’s footer, each link will show the same click count.

Thankfully, a simple setting change allows you to differentiate between clicks on different elements. When editing your Google Analytics variable, look for the “More Settings” option below where you entered your Tracking ID.

Within the options that appear, click “Advanced Configuration.” You’ll now see a dropdown labeled “Enable Enhanced Link Attribution.” Select “True” here.

Once you’ve saved and published this change, you’ll now see unique counts for each link in the Page Analytics report.


Google Tag Manager offers an extensive integration with Google Analytics, allowing you to configure anything from installing the default code to covering advanced tracking scenarios. Setting up Analytics through GTM allows you to simplify the code in place on your site, as well as easily allow access to tweak settings without requiring development updates. You can quickly set up advanced features like cross-domain tracking.

If you haven’t done so yet, make GTM a part of your workflow for setting up Google Analytics implementations. Explore advanced options to customize as needed. You’ll save time and reduce friction with developers.

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4 website actions you can track with Google Tag Manager /4-website-actions-you-can-track-with-google-tag-manager-317652 Mon, 03 Jun 2019 12:00:18 +0000 /?p=317652 There are limitless actions you can track to improve data gathering. Here is a step-by-step guide with website actions important to digital marketing measurement.

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Google Analytics offers a wealth of data via the default installation, but many actions aren’t tracked by default. Getting additional tracking in place often entails digging into technical documentation and working with backlogged development teams. Google Tag Manager can help fill in the gaps, expanding the activity you can track on websites while not requiring backend website access or coding knowledge.

In this article, I’ll walk through setting up GTM tracking for four website actions important to digital marketing measurement. If you haven’t yet set up GTM, start here to work through Google’s instructions for creating an account and adding the simple code snippets to your site. Once installed, you’re ready to start setting up some tags and triggers to obtain better insight about your users.

Form submissions

Ever needed to track a form that doesn’t go to a thank you URL after clicking submit? GTM includes a built-in form listener that identifies when a form submission takes place so you can fire a conversion tag.

Start by creating a form submission trigger. Go to “Triggers” from the lefthand navigation and click “New” to start building a new trigger.

Next, choose “Form Submission” as the trigger type.

Now, you’ll see the options appear for customizing your trigger. First, checking the “Wait for Tags” button will ensure that the form doesn’t submit until any associated tags fire. Next, the “Check Validation” button will ensure the tag only fires if a form submission is successful.

In the first dropdown under the checkboxes, you can choose when to enable the trigger. In this instance, we’ve chosen to enable it only for a particular landing page URL.

Finally, you can choose to fire the trigger for “All Forms” or “Some Forms.” This option is particularly helpful if you want to track multiple forms on the same page using separate conversion tags. For instance, you might have one form for downloading a whitepaper and another for contacting a salesperson.

Once again, you can choose from a wide array of variables to specify which form you want. In this instance, we’ve selected the “Form ID” (the HTML ID attribute associated with the form).

Finally, once you’ve saved the trigger, you can then associate it with the tags you’d like to fire when a form submits. These might include a Google Analytics event tag and ad platform conversion tags.

Note that this trigger won’t work with all forms, so you should use GTM’s preview mode to ensure that your tag is actually firing on a test submission. If the default form trigger doesn’t trigger, a couple potential alternatives are tracking a custom JavaScript event that’s set up to fire on form submission or tracking clicks on the “Submit” button.

Button clicks

GTM’s click trigger can track clicks on just about any website element you want. Some examples of button click actions to track include:

  • Purchase links leading to third-party seller sites
  • “Add to Cart” actions
  • Links to social media profiles
  • Click-to-call buttons
  • Subscribe buttons
  • PDF downloads

First, you’ll need to set up a trigger to pinpoint the click(s) you want to target. Next, you can set up event tracking to fire a custom event into Google Analytics when the click happens, or associate the click with an ad platform conversion tag.

Create a new trigger and select a trigger type of Click – All Elements. You can then specify which clicks to track using as many parameters as you’d like. For instance, you could track a Download button with a specific ID only on your landing page URL.

Finally, associate the trigger with the tag(s) you want to use for sending data back into Google Analytics, Google Ads or other platforms.

Video views

Every piece of user engagement on your site can offer clues to how interested visitors are in your content. If you include embedded YouTube videos on your site, GTM can track how many people choose to watch, along with watch time and when they drop off.

To set up video tracking, you’ll first need to enable a few variables that aren’t turned on by default. Within your GTM account’s workspace, select “Variables” from the left sidebar.

On the screen that appears, click “Configure.” Now, scroll down to the “Videos” section, and select the variables you’d like to track.

After choosing your variables, create a trigger with a YouTube Video trigger type. Now, select the action(s) you’d like to track. For instance, you might want to fire a Google Analytics event anytime someone starts or completes a video, or when they watch up to a certain point. At the bottom, you can choose to fire the trigger for all videos on your site or for select videos based on criteria you specify.

In this example, I’ve set up a trigger tracking any views of 90% or more for a YouTube video embedded within a landing page URL.

Next, I set up a Google Analytics tag with a “Track Type” of event, defining the parameters I’d like to fire into Analytics when the video is viewed at 90%.

Finally, I’ll associate the tag with the previously created trigger, save, and publish.

For a more advanced setup that will fire events for all video-related actions via a single tag, see Simo Ahava’s excellent solution, which incorporates a custom variable.

Scroll behavior

Testing a long landing page and wondering how much of the “below the fold” information people view? Want to know how many people read your blog articles beyond the first few paragraphs? Scroll tracking can help answer these questions.

GTM contains built-in variables to track scrolling activity. Just as with the video variables, you’ll need to enable these before you can use them.

Under the Configure menu accessed from the Variables section, you’ll find the “Scrolling variables” toward the bottom of the list. You can also use the “Visibility variables” if you’d like to measure when a specific element was viewable on the page.

Next, set up a trigger with a type of “Scroll Depth.” You’ll see fields where you can specify the points on the page you’d like to track, either by percentage or pixels. You can supply multiple numbers separated by commas.

Once you’ve saved your trigger, create a Google Analytics tag with a “Track Type of Event.” Add in the event criteria you’d like to populate into your Analytics account.

For this example, we’re using a dynamic variable for the label: {{Scroll Depth Threshold}}. This will auto-populate the depth to which a user scrolls on the page.

Finally, associate the “Scroll Depth” trigger you previously created and save the tag. You’re now ready to publish your scroll tracking setup!

Start tracking

I’ve provided four examples to get you started, but there are limitless actions you could track using Google Tag Manager. Take some time to browse through the tags, triggers, and variables and play with various configurations using the preview mode. You’ll be able to improve data gathering and make tracking setup easier when you take the time to develop a solid understanding of GTM.

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Here’s how to use Google Tag Manager’s new Trigger Groups /heres-how-to-use-google-tag-managers-new-trigger-groups-315011 Fri, 05 Apr 2019 17:54:46 +0000 /?p=315011 This update offers a new way to manage how often, and under what circumstances, a tag will fire in GTM.

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On March 26, Google announced the release of Trigger Groups in Google Tag Manager. Trigger Groups allow you to require multiple triggers to activate before a tag fires. This update increases the capabilities of an already powerful platform, used by many digital marketers to streamline deployment of tracking tags.

In this article, I’ll show how to set up trigger groups and offer three practical suggestions for using them in your GTM account.

Setting up a Trigger Group

To create a new trigger group, navigate to Triggers within GTM and click the “New” button.

Click within the Trigger Configuration window to select a trigger type, and choose Trigger Group. This option is all the way at the bottom, but you can also use the search feature to find it quickly (click the magnifying glass).

Next, in the box that appears, click “Choose a trigger” to select the first trigger you’d like to include.

You’ll now see a window showing all currently available triggers. If you need to make a new trigger, click the plus symbol in the upper right to directly enter the trigger creation process. After you add one trigger, click the plus symbol by the Triggers section to select more.

Finally, once you’ve added all of your desired triggers, you can choose to define additional conditions for when the trigger group will fire. By default, the setting is on All Conditions, so it will fire once all the triggers have fired. However, you can add new criteria (such as limiting it to specific pages) by selecting “Some Conditions.”

Uses for trigger groups

So, how can you use trigger groups in your GTM account? While the number of available triggers and tags allows for endless configurations, here are three practical ideas.

Tracking shared thank you pages

Some sites are designed so all lead forms land users on the same thank you page, regardless of which landing page the user came from. In an ideal scenario, unique thank you pages, or direct tracking of the forms themselves, would be the best solution for tracking. However, often limitations prevent getting the setup you want, whether due to a content management system or lack of developer support.

Using a trigger group, you can combine a trigger for a referrer of a specific landing page URL with another trigger for a pageview of the thank you page.

This setup allows you to pinpoint users that reached the thank you page after submitting the form on the referring landing page.

Once this trigger group is set up, you can now use it to fire conversion tags for ad platforms or trigger a Google Analytics event.

Tracking engaged users

Trigger groups open up new possibilities for tracking users based on multiple points of engagement with a site. For instance, you might offer both video and blog content on a page, and want to pinpoint users who take the time to both watch and read.

To track someone who is exceptionally engaged, you can create a YouTube trigger for individuals who have watched an embedded video, and a scroll trigger for individuals who have scrolled through most of the content on a page. In this example, I’ve created triggers for people who watched 90% of a video and scrolled 75% down.

Next, combine these into a trigger group.

You can now use this trigger group to fire a tag when a user completes both of these actions. The tag could fire an event into Google Analytics, which you could then use to build a remarketing audience. Or you could fire a Facebook Ads event to create an audience in that platform.

Tracking multiple clicks

If your page includes various opportunities for users to interact with a page, such as various form fields or different buttons, you can track users that have clicked multiple elements. For instance, if you offer multiple levels of subscription packages, you might want to segment people based on the subscription they select before also tracking if they submit a form.

In this example, I’ve created a trigger to track when someone clicks a “Deluxe” package option.

The next trigger tracks when the user completes a form submission on that page.

Finally, combining the triggers into a trigger group will let you track those people who have clicked the Deluxe option and also submitted the form.

You could then proceed to create separate triggers and groups for other levels of packages, and fire separate conversion tags for each.


As an advocate of getting as granular as possible for tracking digital marketing efforts, I’m excited to watch Google continuing to release new features for GTM. Trigger groups are an impressive step toward allowing marketers to build more complex tracking setups.

I’m looking forward to seeing additional features over the coming months to improve an already great product.

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