What to Do with Your Google Analytics Data?

Data that is collected for the purpose of using it to create campaigns that are going to generate convertible leads.

Business is a science. When a young adult enters into a business degree program at a college or university, they are working towards a Bachelor of Science degree. They are doing coursework in statistics, finance, marketing, economics, and other strictly structured scientifically-based subjects. The science of business requires the proper information in order for a business to be conducted in such a way that generates success and profits.

One of the areas where accurate information is necessary is on the internet. We are seeing this more, and more. Businesses today are actively present in the digital realm in the forms of a company website, a blog, social media accounts, and email lists. A business needs the right information from these mediums in order to create marketing and advertising campaigns that are going to generate convertible leads. They need information that is gathered through programs like Google Analytics in order to create these successful campaigns.

  • What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a data initiative, provided by Google, that allows companies and business owners to gather the data necessary to understand the traffic on their sites, and to convert that traffic. This data is gathered on a wide range of different topics like content performance, time on pages, overall site traffic, the geographic distribution of leads, keyword performance, and referrals. This program gives a marketer or business owner the data they need to understand what on their sites are working and what is not.

Here is an example of the type of information provided by Google Analytics.

This data is going to be some of the most valuable information that a marketer or business owner can collect concerning their digital marketing efforts. It is going to let them understand their customers in a way that was not possible before. An owner or marketer will be able to understand how the sites and accounts are being received by their potential leads and current customers. They will be able to gain an essential insight into how people are interacting with their various sites and accounts and how leads are being funneled to the company website.

  • What to Do with The Data Collected from Google Analytics

It is one thing to gather this data and it is another thing to put it into action. The data collected is going to be the basis of how a marketer and/or business owner shapes, changes, or updates their digital campaigns. They are going to be able to filter out the campaigns that are just not performing, revise the ones that have potential, and grow the ones that are doing well. There is a process to this and it is based in science; establishing the proper database, predicting trends from that database, experimenting with that data, and implementing the strategies that produce results. You can all kinds of really amazing data with Google Analytics. Professionals are using it in creative ways in search engine optimization, lead gen, social media, and more.

Data is essential for Search Engine Optimization, and it is often the difference between an SEO pricing plan valued at $5k / month, and the ones valued at $200 / month.

Another professional in the digital marketing world, Dan Ray, has discussed how Google Analytics gives you more data as to track an effective digital campaign beyond just rankings.

it’s like, you know, I’ll rank this keyword number one for you, and you’ll pay me when it hits number one. Not on the traffic that it drives. I disagree with both of these types, because you don’t get credit for sort of long-tail keywords, referrals, etcetera. Rankings for me, they’ve very, very important, but not as a metric themselves.”

  • Establishing the Database

The first step in this process is to create a database of the information necessary to improve traffic and convertible leads. It is important to use the proper data, or it will be impossible to produce the desired results from a campaign. For example, if a company is looking to create a successful social media campaign, they are going to need the proper social media information to do so. They will need to compile a database of social media information like types of content garnering traffic, demographics of the leads that are interacting with the content, and what time of day leads are interacting with the content.

The data needs to be accurate, complete, and within the parameters that a marketer or owner establishes for the campaign. In plain terms, a company needs the right information to do the right job. In business, it never is a good idea to jump into a campaign without gathering the proper research to make sure that the efforts and money invested have a real ROI. This is, arguably, the most important part of the process because if the information is not correct going in, the proper actions cannot be formulated and taken.

  • Educated Predictions

Once the data has been collected and databases are created, marketers and owners are able to make educated predictions concerning this data. The data can be scrutinized in order to predict possible trends and outcomes of a proposed campaign. For example, in sticking with a social media example, the data may show that leads are falling within a demographic of adults, ages 35-50, on Facebook, and they are interacting in the evening hours.

A marketer and owner can create a campaign that is going to be targeted to this demographic and that is going to be concentrated to circulating in the evening hours. It seems to be a simple idea, but without the right data, these predictions cannot be generated. These predictions are an important part of the process because they are going to be the bases for the next step, the experimentation. Although the data may seem obvious, a huge campaign shouldn’t be launched based on this thought. Experiments are important in making sure that campaigns are going to result in the desired goals.

For example, in my professional link building business, I have found going through client’s Google Analytics and other data sources can provide new creative ways to accelerate our link acquisition, and make business partnerships fruitful.

  • Experimenting with Educated Predictions

Before a company jumps head first into a campaign, they are going to want to experiment with the predictions that they have formulated. They are going to want to make sure that the predictions they have made are true and are going to produce the results and ROI they are looking for. Let’s maintain the social media example here. Before they launch a huge campaign through Facebook, they are going to want to experiment with this prediction to make sure that they are on the right track.

On social media, these experiments can take many different forms. This can include customer surveys, reviews, experimental content, and ads. These experiments are going to garner the information that is going to let a business know whether their predictions are correct or if they need to be adjusted. This information is going to add a depth to the prior data collected that is going to be able to narrow down the equation for success. It may also lead to a conclusion that the predictions were off, and they need to be recalculated. Either way, these experiments are going to cost little money but derive a plethora of information that is going to allow for the creation of a successful campaign.

  • Creating A Successful Campaign

All of the steps up to this point are for the purpose of data collection. This is the point when all the data is brought together in order to establish a campaign that is going to generate convertible leads. It may take multiple predictions, different experiments, and some trial and error in order to reach a point where the marketer or owner feels that they have what they need to create success.

The ultimate goal of any campaign is to drive traffic to the site that can be converted into real sales and profit. This is not a goal that is easily achieved, and it takes the information that a company collects from Google Analytics to move in the right direction for their various digital marketing campaigns. All of these steps are necessary in order to shape a campaign that does not waste the time or money of the company.

This process is used on every form and medium of a company’s digital marketing campaign. It is applied to the company’s website in order to make sure that the website is optimized to generating leads and profits. It is used for the blog to bring traffic in and funnel it to the company’s website. It is also used on the email marketing to see what types of emails are successful and what types are not.

Google Analytics is able to be used to generate a database on whatever medium or website that the company or marketer wants to collect data on. This data is gold to a marketer because when studied properly and collected in an effective way, it can be the basis of the campaign with serious ROI. It is a necessary tool for any company because a successful presence in the digital realm is necessary for overall success in our technologically dependent global business market.

If you have any questions, please get in touch!
You can email us at service@hittail.com.

The HitTail Team



5 Easy Ways: How to Increase click-through rate (CTR)


In our fast developing digital world, it is no longer enough to have a ‘functional’ website. Because of the overflow of information, you have to (re)adapt your site to current trends. Increasing your CTR (or organic click-through rate) is a great way to do that. CTR is a useful tool commonly used to determine how successful an online campaign is. So increase your CTR to increase your visibility online and consequently increase your profit.
There are different problems to consider. As we develop new ways to modify our codes to search engines, we tend to forget that the ‘clicks’ don’t depend only on complex algorithms but primarily on the human doing the clicking. Another possible problem: though your content may be great your advertising of it might not be as great. No matter what your exact problem is by giving these five categories go, you will most definitely increase your CTR

  • Improve Your SERP Ranking:

The studies show that about 90% of users don’t leave the first page of search engine results. Not only that but being on the first page doesn’t cut it anymore. As lower you go on the page (even the first page) your CTR ranking decreases dramatically. This is why improving your SERP ranking (or Search Engine Results Page) is a must, if you want your CTR to grow as well.
Google awards those who accommodate to its rules with better SERP rankings. So if you want to improve your ranking, you should focus on these categories: content, SEO, and accuracy of your information. Generate quality content, optimize your site to SEO standards and be sure to display essential and updated information on your website.

  • Make An Eye-catching Title Tag:

Your title tag is the first thing a user will see on the Google search results page. Also, it can be your anchor text when sharing your site and displayed on the tab of your user’s browser. Though according to SEO, titles and meta descriptions aren’t as important as before, they are still relevant – mainly because they are a helpful way to connect to your user.
Of course, your title should display the name of your business and some relevant keywords, as you should please both search engines and its human users, make the title eye-catching and clever. In that way, you can stand-out in the masses of similar results and attract your user’s attention.
Keep your title longer no more than 60 characters to secure that search engine will show it completely.

  • Give A Helpful Meta Description:

The Meta description is a snippet placed just under the title information on the search engine results page, and the second thing your user will see. Because the title tag is relatively short with enough space for your name and a witty marketing line, you should use meta description to give your users other relevant information, in 160 characters or less.
As we have mentioned, description isn’t the most relevant parameter for search engine algorithms, but it is still a good way to attract traffic to your site by the use of your keywords but also a helpful way to display relevant information for the user.
Depending on your business your description can give some important information such as the kind of business, address, contact number, etc.

  • Stand Out With Rich Snippets:

Now you have excellent content, and your title and description are up to SEO standards. Great. But to stand out, you might need more than that. GWM, an SEO company, advocates the use of rich snippets to boost your CTR.
In the wide range of info, users want to know what they are clicking on before they click on it. Rich snippets allow just that. While still on the search result page, your users can see all additional information that you might not have space for in your title or description. You can add product price, rating, number of available items, who made the product and so much more.
Besides, rich snippets will set you apart from your competition as not everyone is still using them.

  • Make A Search-engine-and-user-friendly URL:

So you have optimized information you could give your user while they are still on the search engine result page, and now comes the ‘link.’ Another useful ‘trick’ to increase your CTR is to make your URL more search-engine-and-user-friendly. Typically URLs are dynamic and comprised of a bundle of signs, letters, numbers, punctuation marks and the like. By making your URL static and keyword-oriented, you can make your website more appealing both to search engines to index but also to your users to click on.

With these five easy ways, you are sure to increase your CTR significantly. Remember that all of the optimizing you do is done both for your search engine and for your users. By improving your SERP ranking, creating memorable title tag and informative description, giving that extra info with rich snippets and creating a friendly URL – you will boost your CTR in no time.

Did I miss any? Tell me below  in comments and I will add them here!


Custom Reports & Other Awesome Steroids For Google Analytics

We’ve already discussed Custom Dashboards in a previous post — I hope you’ve been able to implement some of them in your own Google Analytics account?

Good! I bet you’re a pro by now.

We’re going to talk a bit about maximizing your use of GA with Custom Reports.

There’s some overlap between Custom Dashboards and Custom Reports but the main difference lies with dashboards giving you a snapshot, whereas a custom report are more useful for analyzing results and making decisions on course of action.

I know we all like to sit in dark basements, looking at numbers all day, so this is like candy.

Use these Custom Report examples as a starting point. I’ve included some links to pre-made reports that you can easily add to your own Analytics account. However, there’s nothing like getting your own hands dirty and setting some up yourself, tweaking, and adding additional fields.

Getting Started With Custom Reports In Google Analytics

You can find Custom Reports under the “Customization” tab in your GA account.

If you’re an organization freak, then you probably want to set up categories for your Custom Reports. Personally, I would create a category specifically for SEO reports but much like productivity being a subjective thing, you’ll likely have your own system.


How To Create A Custom Report

There are 3 types of Custom Reports that you can set up:

  1. Flat Table — Gives you ability to compare dimensions side-by-side (there is no timeline).
  2. Explorer — You can go deeper into sub-dimensions, along with a timeline that allows you to compare metrics.
  3. Map Overlay — Organize metrics and data into geographical areas (country, city, and so on).

In every Custom Report, there are 2 main elements:

  1. Dimension — A description of events, pages, visitors, visits, and products.
  2. Metric — A measurement (numeric).

And creating one is ridiculously easy:


You can also add tabs (to keep it organized), share Custom Reports and use them cross-profile (for other Analytic profiles in your account).

Custom Report Examples For SEO

Let’s go through a few examples of Custom Reports you can use for your SEO analyzing, shall we?

Audience Custom Report


While many have, in the past, ignored important factors such as geographics and demographics, anyone taking SEO seriously and paying attention to how Google is personalizing search results knows that where you audience is coming from will only matter more and more.

The City and Language, along with Keyword lets you see what keywords are used by what country, city, and language. You should be able to tell what keywords are profitable pretty quickly.

Also, it could uncover opportunities you might have otherwise missed — translating content into languages you didn’t even know you had visitors speaking, which could help improve conversion rates.

Content Custom Report

The point is to identify which content is performing best (with, for example, organic traffic). One way to check if you’re targeting the right keywords on the right pages is to set it up as an Explorer Custom Report.


From here, you could also add additional filters for your blog content to see which posts performs the best. Also, you could add event goals in relation to content for tracking comments.

Keyword Analysis Custom Report

This one is valuable to run and has three components: revenue, targeting, and engagement.


  • Targeting — A Flat Table with Page Title and Keyword that’s sending traffic. The other metrics are to check if you’re targeting the right keywords on the right pages. Helpful for optimization decisions.
  • Revenue — Are your keywords making you money? Use this to determine ROI.
  • Engagement — How engaged your visitors are, via a specific keyword. You want to focus on the keywords that sends engaged visitors, not duds.

Link Analysis Custom Report

Find out which one of your referrals (that would usually be links) are sending you the best quality traffic (engagement and conversions, usually).

Any SEO professional will want to see which inbound links they’ve spent hours, days, and weeks to build are sending the best kind of traffic.


Social Media Custom Report

This is another traffic source that can be useful for making SEO decisions if you segment and create a Custom Report for it. That way, you have a clearer picture of what your social media activity is doing for your site.

Perhaps you’ll find that visitors from social media are more or less engaged, and more or less prone to completing goals. You won’t know until you track and figure out a Custom Report.


You can go into more detail here.

Here Are Some Ready-Made Custom Reports For Your Pleasure

While I recommend that you go through and set these up for yourself (learn by doing, get familiar with Google Analytics, and so on), here are some links to Custom Reports that you can easily add to your Analytics account.

Simply click the link and follow the prompts.

Implement Custom Reports For Content Analysis

I’m going to talk briefly about content analysis with the assumption that you have Custom Reports and Custom Dashboards to refer back to for actual metrics and dimensions.

This is made a little more convoluted if a lot of your visitors are logged in to their Google accounts (loss of data) and, sooner or later, as Chrome encrypts searches, that will certainly throw a monkey wrench into the machinery.

Different Levels Turns This Into, Like, A Video Game Or Something

Let’s take a look at 3 different levels when analyzing content: Keyword, Site Section, And Traffic Source.

Keyword: This might not be the easiest or most useful report, as Google will often simply give you the dreaded (not provided) in your data.

To, sort of, get around this, look at keyword data from the landing pages part of a Custom Report (or in your general Analytics dashboards). Your keywords will be grouped by landing pages. Combine this with information from Google Webmaster Tools.

Worth keeping in mind is to not get too caught up on single keywords or pages. Think of making adjustments (if you detect an opportunity to do so) in terms of site section and content types. Grouping related and relevant long-tails together is a good idea that will help you make decisions on content and what rankings to pursue.

Site Section: This is where Custom Reports that incorporate landing pages are very useful. This obviously reveals where (organic) visitors are landing. Consider assessing landing pages by source segmentation (again, Custom Reports can show you this quickly).

Also, you can divide up the content into various sections of your site — think categories for content and also content type (whitepapers, podcast, article, infographics, and so on).

While you can identify high-traffic and high-converting sections of your site, you should also look for those pages and content that are under-performing.

Traffic Source: Get a broad, birds eye view of organic search engine traffic. This is where you have only one segment applied for a medium and source or just medium. Use this for keeping your eyes on your general search performance and broad trends.

Keep in mind though that the data is seen as aggregate at the source level — a traffic increase in one section of your site can cover up a drop in other places.

Custom Reports Are Just That: Custom

So, you’re all set now with a bunch of Custom Reports, right?

I strongly recommend that you try to create some of your own that are more customized and applicable to your sites, needs, and goals.

Those I’ve talked about and shared are a bit general but enough to get you started and going.

The whole point of gathering and organizing data is to enable you to understand where you are right now, how your SEO is performing, and make decisions on how to move forward.

Custom Reports will give you the necessary details and comparisons (between metrics and dimensions) to help you see the details of the bigger picture.

How are you using Custom Reports and do you find them useful for SEO purposes?

Sometimes, Tracking Less is More

For those who watch the Flash HitTail Demo, the words “WE’RE NOT ANALYTICS” is probably quite familiar. And for those who run multiple tracking systems, like HitTail plus Google Analytics, you will notice that HitTail doesn’t track everything.


That’s right. And I am often explaining why this is so brilliant, and saves users of HitTail so much time in zero’ing in on what’s important… actionable data!

Going against common logic, our patent-pending tracking system knows when to not listen to the activity on your site, and therefore it collects LESS data. And when you’re looking for long tail keywords that might be useful for making new content, less is more. Why? Because other systems that capture everything have to sort it out later, reducing the real-time services they can provide. They sometimes make you wait a day or more. Also, they can’t keep the data forever. And they have a more difficult time figuring out which of all the garbage data they collected is the meaningful stuff.

What sort of collected data is garbage, you may ask?

Think about it. Where are your hits coming from? Are YOU perhaps responsible for some of your hits (I think you are)? Should you include every search test you perform as part of your competitive intelligence data, especially when what you’re trying to do is get into the mind of your prospective website visitors? You’re actually polluting your own data with your webmaster testing activities. You’re telling yourself things you already know! And isn’t the same true of your competitors searching on your site? How many of their keyword tests should you allow to pollute your data? They might hand you over a few interesting terms. But on the whole, they’re going to be searching on a bunch of industry insider terms that don’t really represent the thoughts of your real prospects, and might be interesting to you maybe once–not over and over, as they’re doing.

So, HitTail filters all this ridiculous traffic at the source. In fact, when we detect such situations, our tracking system “goes quiet”, preventing excess Internet traffic, and makes your pages load even faster. This is one of the various reasons we are one of the most light-weight tracking systems on the Internet.

While HitTail is awesome for watching search hits that come to your site, indeed, almost hypnotizing, it doesn’t record EVERY search hit. It only records the search hit data of each visitor only once, then ignores subsequent visits during that browser session.

That disappoints a lot of people. But it shouldn’t. You should be shouting for joy that some tracking system is doing this for you.

Because in the end, you’re on the lookout for some very important events in the history of your website–events that every other tracking and analytics system ignores–for example, HitTail captures he first time a particular search led to your website… EVER!

Yep, that’s part of what HitTail does. And even that is just pre-filtering. We take this pre-filtered data, which is already throttled to prevent garbage, and it is to that we apply our writing suggestion-finding algorithm to determine which of the BRAND NEW topics (which never led to your site before) qualify as viable writing topic candidates.

The unique experience that this all produces is fueling HitTail’s incredibly positive reception.

Does HitTail Do Things that Google Analytics Doesn’t?

The answer is Yes!

It’s yes for at least two reasons: the immediately actionable nature of the information provided, and the immediately viewable real-time nature of the data.

In fact, it’s all about immediacy, and spending less on AdWords (or eliminating your need for AdWords altogether).

What if Google Analytics told everybody the specific topics to write about in order to boost their site’s natural search engine standings? People would flock off of AdWords in droves. Why pay for something that you can get for free?

In this sense, Google Analytics and HitTail are diametrically opposed to each other. While it’s easy enough to pull a “long” list of keywords, or even “top keywords”, none of that begins to give you the competitive intelligence that you need for an informed rapid content expansion strategy.

HitTail is like a coach looking over your shoulder as you pull a keyword list out of your analytics software, striking down over 95% of that list based on how it would waste your time to further develop those concepts.

Imagine the time saved!

Yes, given a “long list” of keywords, you could take each one and perform a Google search, seeing whether the term is already working for you or not. If you find your own site in the first page or two of results on that term, you can discount it as a term for further development, based on the fact that it’s already working for you.

But as you work your way through this long list of keywords, you will occasionally find terms where the Web searcher must have been extraordinarily determined to find an answer. You know this by looking at how many pages in they must have surfed before they decided to click on you.

This is all very nuanced, and outside the box for most marketers. That’s why the arrival of the book, The Long Tail, by Chris Anderson, the Editor-in-Chief of Wired Magazine, was so timely. It provides a framework by which marketers can understand collecting multiple valuable pockets of free qualified search traffic.

I’ll say that again.

HitTail lets you collect and concentrate FREE veins of search traffic gold, gathering them up until it collectively accounts for more traffic than you are receiving through paid search campaigns. In fact, HitTail forms the foundation of a sustainable, cross-engine online marketing campaign whose effect will last long after you diminish your efforts and stop putting money into it.

So to answer the original question of whether HitTail does things that Google Analytics does not, it’s an unqualified Yes! HitTail provides data in such a way that you can easily diversify your online marketing campaigns into “un-paid” natural search.

The Fastest Blog Monitoring Tool?

In the past, I’ve mentioned “the other side of SEO”, involving spreading the word faster than search alone can provide. Thanks to tools like Technorati and Google Blog Search, no blog-post is an island. This has elevated blogging up to the role that doing submits used to occupy in SEO. Every blog post sets off a flare, lights up a beacon, signaling ambush-hunter news crawlers to pounce upon the site, grab a blurb off of the data feed, and bring it back to it’s baby—the parent site (so it can be found by subsequent searchers). But even that process is oh-so-slow in this new instant-everything world of ours.

As a compulsive, nearly OCD, blog-monitoring fanatic, I see posts as fast as these predatory crawlers allow, as Alex Pooley mentions in his observations about my monkey-comment. So, that’s a case where today’s tools worked. But also as an active blogger, I see the time-lapse, and even the oversights, of these blog monitoring tools. I, like so many others, use Technorati because it was first, is quite good, and has developed a sort of loyalty in me. They provide XML-feeds that I can subscribe to on my mobile phone, and they include many things. Monitoring through Technorati is a good application of the 80/20 rule (80% of the benefit from the first 20% of the effort). And it making me fancy myself as “technorati” doesn’t hurt.

But to fill in the remaining 20%, I’m always ferreting out what’s new. I want faster. I want better. I want my posts to show up in their monitoring tools as fast as I hit the submit button from Blogger. Of course, that leads us to consider blogsearch.google.com, which I also use regularly. And there’s a newcomer on the scene, named Sphere, which appears to be also be picking up blog-like pages that are not actually blogs, making it the most unique results of the three, and filling in some of that remaining 20%.

Of course, there’s unlimited blog monitoring tools, like Ask, BlogPulse, Feedster, and the rest. Problem is, the all (most?) work off of the same ping-alert-systems. What one blog search engine knows, they all know. And what one doesn’t know, none of them know. And therein lies the problem. That’s a lot more than anyone cares to acknowledge. Unbeknownst to most, there is an invisible blogosphere—one comprised of Xanga, MySpace, FaceBook, and many other blogging systems that don’t ping the Yahoo-owned blo.gs or the Google-friendly, Verisign-owned WebLogs (not to be confused with the once-Jason Calacanis-owned Weblogs, Inc,).

But for the invisible blogoshpere to be included, one of two things must happen. Either these pinging services must be smarter about harvesting up the new-blog-post alerts, or these ambush-crawlers must take their cues from something smarter than these pinging services. Both tasks are difficult, because it’s a chicken-and-egg situation—complicated even more by the login gates of social networking sites such as MySpace and Xanga. Crawlers must not only know that a new post has been made, but they must have sufficient permission to get to the data.

Anyway, this leaves a big hole and wonderful opportunity for some new startup because the value of a truly real-time blog monitoring tool has never been clearer. It’s the other half of the successful website formula (with mainstream search-influence being the first half). You must be in it for the slow, steady burn with traditional SEO, and the gradually growing snowball of traffic that comes from persistent blogging—even if you think your blog is an island. But then, there’s the spiky acceleration of traffic that you can garner from your friends and fans in the blogosphere—if only you could know everything. In that spirit, I’m always on the lookout for the fastest blog monitoring tool. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Are you listening?

Paralysis Through Analysis? HitTail Sets You Free

Are you suffering from analytics exhaustion? Do you dread logging in in the morning and making sense of all those charts and graphs—only to realize that the data is already a day old? Do you want to just have your finger on the pulse of your site right now, at this moment? Are you dying to watch your log files in a way that makes sense to you? Then HitTail is for you.

It’s been said by our own users that it couldn’t be easier to install HitTail on your site. You just register and put a snippet of code in your blog or CMS template, and voila! You’ll be able to see data about your site right away. No waiting a day for the reports to be generated. If a search hit occurs seconds after installing the code, you’ll see it. So not only does HitTail alleviate analytics frustration, give you a the pulse of your site as-of-the-moment, but it also is a really great source of instant gratification.

We’re not putting down analytics software. Quite the contrary, we’re big believers in it for complex sites that have business tasks and objectives. But for the average blogger, or even the average marketing person who just wants to see how active a site is, we think HitTail is a breath of fresh air. We’re filling a vacuum that was long left empty due to incorrect notions that running reports and offering back useful information takes a day.

More and more, bloggers and website owners are turning to HitTail as the one thing to run in addition to Google Analytics. Indeed, one of the most influential advisors in the blogosphere, Darren Rowse of ProBlogger, made HitTail point #11 in the ways to market your blog in 2007 (I’m glad it wasn’t a top-10 list). Thanks, Darren. We certainly see it as a supplement to analytics, and on occasions where the website publisher is just trying to grow their natural search traffic, an alternative approach that can stand on its own.

Anyone trying to get their own articles onto the Digg homepage should use HitTail, because it’s going to tell you how you’re doing, even if you don’t start getting dugg up. You’ll see all the visitors. Same applies to anyone trying to get found through StumbleUpon. All that traffic is coming to your site, but it’s invisible to you—or you can’t see it until the next day, by the time it’s already too late to take real-time action to bolster your standings. Don’t believe me? Check out Peter, the Affiliate’s, comment on this blog post.

So, if you’re feeling a little worn, and not too anxious to log into that analytics dashboard, take a break, take a deep breath, and plunge into HitTail. Submerge yourself into that real-time dataflow that is like watching the Matrix. Enjoy the fact that the average marketing Jane or Joe can be part of the in-crowd and do the in-thing, without devoting weeks to learning complicated technical jargon or interfaces. Remember when Google came out, and it seemed strange how simple it was? Where were all the portal-schmortal features that weighed down sites like AltaVista? Yet somehow, it was just right. That’s HitTail. In the words of Peter, watch the demo video, and you’ll just get it. And you’ll realize you should have installed that free tracking code weeks ago.

HitTail & Google Analytics: The Perfect Pairing

Everyone appreciates the awesome value of getting such a full featured product as Urchin (Google Analytics) for free, but at the same time, it has a frustrating day-long delay (or more) before seeing results, and once you see them, a special analytics-analyzing skill-set in able to turn it into immediate site-improving actions.

HitTail on the other hand gives you almost no analytics, but shows you the hits instantly. And it’s amazing the value simply in that. HitTail will achieve much of its mission in life if it can simply give everyone in the world real-time access to the part of their web logs that’s truly interesting–the search hits and other referrals. Once you filter out all the nonsense graphics and in-site clicks, watching the raw log file data gets real interesting.

But then, there’s the dilemma of getting from that raw data to an extracted keyword list. And people seem to appreciate HitTail’s doing this for you in nearly real-time, sorting the wheat from the chaff as it were. You have one list which is all extracted keywords, and another list which are only those where you really could and should be doing better in natural or paid search results.

And finally, HitTail goes one step beyond solving this dilemma by helping your remember what you’ve done. Every time you export your keyword lists, you have an opportunity to move all those keywords to the trash. So, the HitTail lists are cleared, and you’re only ever looking at new words. This makes HitTail work as a perfect “keyword radar” system, only bringing new events to your attention that have never happened before.

All this culminates in a time-saving process that gives you not only actionable data, but an actionable plan. Simply take the words that HitTail provides and either funnel them directly into your PPC campaigns, or work them into the headlines of your new blog posts or website content. Sustained over time, it can snowball your sites ability to pull in the best sort of qualified prospects at continually lower costs. And ultimately, that is the mission of HitTail, the reason for its existence, and the primary driver behind our product development decisions.