Head on: Toward an Effective Web Presence in the Writers' Community

Volume 1, Issue 2
March, 2008
Google Analytics Sleek Dashboard

Some of the coolest WEB tools of the century!


Inside This month's Head On

Google Analytics Department
This month's metric - The Bounce Rate
--- Keywords: Positive & Negative
What I learned this month
Trend: Ecoterrorism, Catastrophes
Do You Need a Blog?
Upcoming Topics
Links of Interest

  Web Analytics - A Simple Definition
This term describes the process of analyzing the behavior of visitors to a Web site. See www.WebAnalyticsAssociation.org for detailed definitions.



Google Analytics Keywords
used in an ad campaign

Positive - show your ads to visitors interested in the products and services that you offer. Since they are searching for something, you stand a chance of getting your fair share of the traffic. The chance that someone will buy something once they come is on average only (in the US) between 1 and 2%, it's crucial that you get as many qualified visitors as you can. Volume is the key to making money in this highly competitive marektplace. Remember that you would be much richer owning Wal-Mart than Neiman Marcus!

Negative Keywords: Prevent non-prospects from sucking up your ad budget



While positive keywords attempt to drive qualified traffic to your site, how does one prevent visits from those to whom your site is irrelevant?

Since you pay for ads based on clicks, unwanted visitors cost you money. They are not interested in your products or services, so any money spent on them is wasted.

Here are some examples of possible negative keywords that can be used to avoid unnecessary marketing expenses:


What Mary sells
Negative Keywords
Cruises Tom
  Christian Dior Christian Bible  
  Books on Shakespeare (Shakespeare) Sisters  
  Hilton Hotel Packages Paris Hilton  
  LouisLatimer Hemmi's Services Lewis Latimer (inventor)  
  Murder on the Subway Subway Diet  
  WEB trends in Writing
Hot Topics: Terrorism, Ecoterrorism and Catastrophes
  According to Wikipedia, Eco-terrorism is the concept of terrorism conducted for the sake of ecological or environmental causes. This could include acts by tree huggers to damage logging equipment, sabotaging ships going out to fish when they know dolphins might be caught in their nets, etc.  
  On Monday, March 3, 2008 we saw a radical group called ELF (Earth Liberation Front) blamed for setting fires in Woodinville, Washington. They have been quoted as saying that ELF “. . . will no longer hesitate to pick up the gun” to provide “protection for our planet.”  

Hand-in-hand with this is the whole gamut from terrorism of any kind that is used to further political objectives such as drawing attention to a variety of causes, the most familiar of course being the threat posed by Muslim extremists, Christian terrorists bombing federal buildings and abortion clinics, etc. To my knowledge, there are no verified Buddhist terrorists.

It has been stated that the damage caused by environmentalist sabotage from 1980 to 1999 amounted to $42.8 million.Since 2003 the FBI has credited "eco-terrorists" with $200 million dollars in property damage.

However, these are small potatoes compared to Muslim extremists. Fighting them has already cost us untold billions.

Right now, books and movies about all these are very popular, and people hunger for more.

Post-apocalyptic topics are hot as well, so if you have a talent for writing using action and suspense, this genre could be your ticket to fame and fortune!

  Upcoming Topics  

• Self Publishing - Lulu, Booksurge (Amazon affiliate), Createspace, Lightning Source, Author House. Lots of options as to format and media. Is self-publishing for you?


  • Google Analytics (ongoing) detailed reporting options. There are 37 core reports; with drilldowns, your reporting options are too numerous for any single article.

• Organic vs. paid search engine results

• Viral marketing

• Blogging - balance the time commitment against the benefits derived

• How to design and implement an ad campaign.

• Keyword ranking

• How much should you pay for clicks? Target who you want to reach, and exclude those you don't.

• Alternatives and complements to Google Analytics. Yahoo, other Google tools, and others.

• Writers' resources for publishing and marketing.

  Links of Interest  

• Web Analytics Association
• Google Analytics
• Lulu.com – sell your book online
• CreateSpace.com – sell your book online
• HoustonBookClub.com
• JK Rowling – jkrowling.com
• Eliot Pattison – eliotpattison.com
• YouWriteOn.com
• Authors on the Web
• Writer’s Space
• Xuni.com
• Louis@Hemmi.US
• BestWebForms.com























  Make your website a full-time marketing partner with tools that are inexpensive-or-free and easy-to-use. Avoid some common costly errors.  

by Louis Hemmi
www.Hemmi.US - Louis @ Hemmi.us


Google Anaytics department

This month's topic: The Bounce Rate - what it is and what it tells you about visitors' behavior.

The bounce rate measures the instances of visitors entering and leaving the same page.

This rate is a simple, elegant metric of your website's effectiveness. Contrary to what some might think, a 'high' bounce rate is not necessarily a bad thing. Most of the time, visitors come looking for something, and then bail out for a variety of reasons. We'll look at things optimistically and just accept that someone who's never visited your site before cannot know until they come and take a look. For many, many visitors, it's a quick look; they leave in ten seconds or so.

An example of a page that is doing a good job of satisfying visitors with a high bounce rate would be a simple document, such as a listing of offices and phone numbers for your company. If someone visits the contact page and copies and pastes the phone number, then exits, it might look as though they did not find anything relevant since they were only on a few seconds, but in fact, were satisfied with their need for specific information. The same goes for a fee schedule.

Someone could view the page, note that you charge $395 for a professional service, and then exit. This is a happy customer as well, as they are getting their price shopping done.

No matter how elegant your design, if you don't have what the visitor wants, and make that apparent, they won't stay, and you're better off without them. You need to focus your efforts on those for whom your site is relevant.

If you sell cruises to the Caribbean, you might be visited by someone interested in seeing pictures of Tom Cruise. The bounce rate of those fans will probably be 99.9% You could use a negative keyword to exclude anyone entering "Tom" and "Cruise" in the same search and thus lower your bounce rate.

The pages on my sites vary greatly in bounce rates. I have noticed that pages where I have heavy internal linking in the text have the best (lowest) bounce rates. I've noticed that visitors ignore the navigation bars on the side, top, and links in the footer, but they do follow the links embedded in the text of the articles.

I think that the bounce rate's significance is highly dependent upon the time spent on the page. If a particular page has a high bounce rate, but the average time spent by the visitor viewing this page is significant, then it's likely a successful page.


What I learned this month
You probably already know that you can track what HTML pages your visitors are viewing by pasting a little Javascript code that is generated by Google Analytics (GA) into your WEB pages.

What you may not know is that you can gather the same type of statistics for .MP3, .JPG, .GIF, .PDF, etc.

How is this possible since you cannot paste GA code into those types of files?

What you do is simply paste a little code into your "on click" event. For example, if I have provided a link to "Newsletter.PDF, " then if a visitor clicks to see the file, GA can collect the information that they viewed that 'page.'

One very practical characteristic of this ability is that I am able to determine whether people prefer my .PDF newsletter, or if they prefer the HTML version instead. Of course, it remains to be seen which prevails. If I get substantially more views to the .PDF than the HTML version, or vice versa, then I can allocate my time more efficiently by dropping the less-popular format.

For advanced users:
Here's the code that makes it all happen when someone presses the left mouse button on your link.You must place this after the Google-generated tracking code (Javascript).

"<a href="Newsletter-February-2008.pdf" onClick="javascript:pageTracker._trackPageview('Newsletter-February-2008.pdf');">

<font size="-1">Click here
to view/download the PDF version</font></a>"

If this looks like Greek to you, don't worry overmuch as you probably know a helpful soul who can do it for you, or get a pro to do it. If you like, I'd be happy to do it for you, free of cost or obligation. All you need is a GA account, and drop me a line at Louis @ Hemmi.US


Blog: Abbreviation for "Web Log." Everybody seems to have one. Should you?

Blogs are a kind of Content Management System (CMS).
The goal of a CMS is to allow a user to update a web page's content without having to use a tool (such as an HTML editor, FTP client, etc.) or have any special knowledge. They enter text without regard to formatting or mode of transmission. Originally, this facility came about to satisfy the needs of users to quickly update content, without having to get a developer to make the changes. Eliminating the devloper made things better, faster, and cheaper.

Then, someone got the idea of applying this to blogs. When you leave a comment on a blog, you are using their CMS which has been set up to format the post as desired by the webmaster. She can edit or delete comments that are inconsistent with the site's topics and desired tone.

Since blogging is now so easy and popular, there's no need to go into a lot of detail here. Googling on "blogging" yields hundreds of articles on the subject. As I write this, more than 150,000 blogs are being implemented each day. However, the rate of implementation will likely slow down, but the numbers are still staggering.

Before you just 'get a blog' because everybody's doing it, consider some key questions.

• What is the purpose of your blog?
Possible answers include:
Marketing your services, work, products
Keeping people up to date with your latest works such as books, tours, magazine articles by and/or about you.
Invite feedback, suggestions, and questions
To inform, but want something more than a newsletter can achieve, which is interactivity.

• What are some advantages over other forms of communication such as web pages, Flash movies, and newsletters?

Blogging software has evolved to make it nearly cost free, and easily manageable. You don't need specialized expertise.

A blog personalizes your website. The anonymity of your web page dissolves when people read what you write, and folks like to see their comments on your blog, even more so when they see responses from you or others to their questions, observations, and concerns. For the visitor, there's a degree of interactivity that many find satisfying. As your blog matures, be sure you respond to visitors' feedback!

• Who's going to maintain it?

You can have a blog vendor host your blog, or host your own on your website. Most people let the vendor host their blogs, since they are not usually technically adept. Whether you host it or not, it's critical that you keep it up to date.