SEO & Analytics from Andy McIlwain

Posted by on Oct 4, 2012 in Reference | 2 Comments

This was probably my favorite presentation from WordCamp 2012!

It’s not because Andy obviously informed us of great tools, but because he pointed out the importance of having a clear goal for SEO and web traffic. It sounds like such a common sense, but it’s not.

I’m just going to refer his words since I will need to ruminate:

“Metrics are useless if you don’t know what you’re measuring. You need to determine your business objectives first – what are you trying to achieve with your web presence? Once you’ve figured that out, you must define the goals, and the KPIs that indicate progress towards goals.

Excellent Example: an amazing blog post diving into goals and KPIs. Here, we see a business objective of lead generation; the website goal is to capture leads, and the KPI is subscriptions to an e-newsletter. Avinash has a few pre-made custom reports available for Google Analytics to help you jump start your work in building plans like the one in this example.”

Other great tools:

  • Created by developer Joost de Valk, the WordPress SEO plugin*
  • – A relatively inexpensive way to get usability feedback from users. If you want to see how a real person goes about completing a task on your website, UserTesting is a good start.
  • Chart Beat – Real-time analytics for your site. Google is starting to do more with real-time data reporting, but it’s still in beta and not entirely reliable.
  • Optimizely – Simplified A/B testing with an extensive list of satisfied customers. Some names you may have heard of: Starbucks, Lending Tree, TechCrunch, Shopify, CBS, and Disney.
  • Crazy Egg – Intuitive, visual overlays that show how your site is actually being used by visitors.




  1. Andy M.
    October 4, 2012

    Thanks for the kind words, Julie! I’m so glad that folks found my presentation useful. 🙂 It means a lot.

    • julieL
      October 11, 2012

      You are such a great speaker too! I like the way you emphasize the goals for SEO instead of just talking about technical aspect of the tools.


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