Thursday, January 24, 2008

Insight into your site

We hope you've gained insight into the various tools and products Google has to offer for increasing the visibility of your site. As Boyar promised, we’ll close out this week's theme a little differently, by sharing with you the story of a publisher who used a number of Google products to increase his site's audience 50-fold in just two months.

Ryan, webmaster for, had been using AdSense for content and AdSense for search to monetize his pages. However, he noticed that his site’s visitors consisted mainly of existing customers. Using Analytics, he was able to better understand his new and returning visitors. After pinpointing the most popular page on his site in June, he added an email newsletter sign-up form to that page and saw the subscription list grow by 20%. In just one month, he watched new visitors grow to 75% of his audience.

At the same time, Ryan used AdWords to advertise his site’s offerings. After experimenting for three weeks to optimize his ads, he was able to achieve a higher clickthrough rate and bring more engaged users to his site; in July, 14% of his site’s visitors arrived via an AdWords ad, and these visitors made up 22% of pageviews for the month. Plus, by using his Analytics reports to determine the search keywords which brought users to his site, he was able to make informed decisions about his ads. For example, because the search phrase "free patterns" drove organic traffic to his site, he knew he didn’t need to run ads for that phrase.

Since Tropical Yarns is a retail store, Ryan also decided to experiment with products such as Google Base and Google Checkout. By listing more than 1,000 products on Base and offering customers a way to purchase them online, Ryan reached out to new users; although the store is located in South Florida, interested buyers from all over the United States can now visit the site to make purchases.

Recently, Ryan has been experimenting with Google Video to engage users on his site – future plans include a short commercial for the store, videos of classes, and more. Ryan's story serves as a great example of how you can improve your site's content and visibility through many Google products.

When asked about his overall experience, Ryan commented that "one by one, each of the dozen Google products we used has increased awareness of our website and helped to drive more quality traffic. No single item was overnight magic, but doing them all has proved to be a huge success!"

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