Tom Bennet

SEO & Progressive Web Apps: Looking to the Future

May 13, 2019
— for Moz

Practitioners of SEO have always been mistrustful of JavaScript.

This is partly based on experience; the ability of search engines to discover, crawl, and accurately index content which is heavily reliant on JavaScript has historically been poor. But it’s also habitual, born of a general wariness towards JavaScript in all its forms that isn’t based on understanding or experience. This manifests itself as dependence on traditional SEO techniques that have not been relevant for years, and a conviction that to be good at technical SEO does not require an understanding of modern web development.

Read on Moz

Google Analytics for PWAs: Tracking offline behaviour and more

April 23, 2019
— for Builtvisible

Progressive web apps (PWAs) are all the rage right now, and for good reason. They represent one of the biggest technological upgrades to the web in a decade, and they empower developers with the tools they need to create fast, engaging, and reliable experiences which are accessible to a diverse range of users.

Unsurprisingly for such a transformative set of technologies, PWAs are impacting a great many areas of digital marketing, and next week I’ll be exploring some of the technical considerations of JavaScript frameworks and service workers over on the Moz blog. Today, though, I’ll be talking about the implications of PWAs for digital analytics.

Read on Builtvisible

What Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) 2.1 means for digital analytics

March 7, 2019
— for Builtvisible

This article won’t recount the history of Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) initiative, nor will it offer explicit guidance on implementing one of the many workarounds which are now proliferating. Instead, my goal here is to provide you with a digestible summary of what the forthcoming update to ITP means for you, as a site owner, and what you need to be doing to prepare for it.

Read on Builtvisible

Exploring Scope in Google Analytics

February 7, 2019
— for Builtvisible

Many analysts will first encounter the concept of scope in Google Analytics while exploring custom dimensions and metrics. But scope is one of the fundamental characteristics of GA’s data model, and a thorough understanding of it will enable you to use the platform far more effectively!

Instead of wondering why there isn’t a Pageviews metric on the channels report, you’ll understand this as something which follows logically from how GA collects and stores data. What previously seemed like frustrating limitations will make complete sense. Understanding the interplay between dimensions, metrics, and their scopes is a hugely powerful skill for an analyst, so let’s get started.

Read on Builtvisible

A Google Tag Manager Wishlist for 2019

December 5, 2018
— for Builtvisible

Over the last few years, the Google Tag Manager product team have done an incredible job responding to requests and developing the platform. From enterprise functionality like Zones to time-saving features like RegEx table variables and element visibility triggers, the past 18 months have seen GTM go from strength to strength.

That said, in the spirit of the festive season – specifically the issuing of outrageous demands – I’ve decided to put together a list of everything we don’t have yet. This is by no means a comprehensive list, nor is it in any particular order; instead, it’s a mixture of little time-saving improvements and major new features which would benefit power users.

Read on Builtvisible

Data Studio template: track JavaScript errors in Google Analytics

April 19, 2018
— for Builtvisible

Today I’m going to show you how to harness data on the real-world usage of your website to shed light on what’s breaking and where.

By tracking the JavaScript errors which are encountered by your users’ browsers and funneling this data into Data Studio, you’ll be able to present your developers with a goldmine of data on incompatibilities, inefficiencies, and suboptimal coding practices. All you’ll need to get started is access to your site’s Google Tag Manager (GTM) container, your Google Analytics (GA) property, and 10 minutes to configure the Data Studio template that I’ll provide you with. Let’s get cracking.

Read on Builtvisible

Planning for Mixed Content During HTTPS Migrations

February 19, 2018
— for Builtvisible

Last week, Google announced that in July 2018 it would make another major stride towards the complete normalisation of HTTPS encryption. Version 68 of the Chrome browser will be the first to explicitly mark all HTTP pages (i.e. every URL served over the legacy protocol) as “not secure”. Operating a secure checkout on a predominantly insecure site is no longer a viable option.

While moving to HTTPS is easier and cheaper than ever before, it is nevertheless vital that any protocol migrations be carried out carefully and with SEO oversight. The onus is on you to ensure a smooth transition, and one of the most common roadblocks is mixed content.

Read on Builtvisible

The Complete Guide to Direct Traffic in Google Analytics

November 29, 2017
— for Moz

When it comes to direct traffic in Analytics, there are two deeply entrenched misconceptions.

The first is that it’s caused almost exclusively by users typing an address into their browser (or clicking on a bookmark). The second is that it’s a Bad Thing, not because it has any overt negative impact on your site’s performance, but rather because it’s somehow immune to further analysis. The prevailing attitude amongst digital marketers is that direct traffic is an unavoidable inconvenience; as a result, discussion of direct is typically limited to ways of attributing it to other channels, or side-stepping the issues associated with it.

Read on Moz