Leslie To will be speaking on Analytics at the Engage Conference, which will take place March 9, 2017 in Portland. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please click here.

Leslie To - SEMpdx Engage 2017 Speaker

1) Please give us your background and let us know what you do for a living.

I have a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley (#gobears!) and started working immediately after I graduated. I started my career in SEO at iSearch Media in 2011 (iSearch Media was acquired by 3Q Digital in 2014) as a search marketing intern. Since then, I’ve risen through the ranks and am now a Sr. Director and head of the SEO channel at 3Q.

2) What are some common Analytics issues you might face in a typical SEO engagement?

Lack of search impression data is a huge problem in our SEO engagements. Most agencies and in-house teams do not actively collect organic search impression data from Google Search Console so when we kick off an engagement, that’s the first thing we look to rectify. In order to understand users from initial inquiry through to the final conversion, we have to have all of the necessary data points and impression and click data is core to that. Looking only at users who have clicked through to the site can present an incomplete picture and optimizations based on an incomplete data set can be very flawed.

3) What are 3 important facets of GA that webmaster novices might overlook?

1. Misunderstanding scope – there’s a big difference between hit-level, session-level, and user-level dimensions and metrics in GA. Misaligning scopes can lead to inaccurate reports that provide little to no insight on performance.

2. Relying too heavily on standard reporting – a one size fits all reporting system can pigeonhole the way you look at reporting and performance. GA provides the option for you customize your reporting. Don’t underestimate how much value GA can provide if you venture outside of the box.

3. Only evaluating performance for your channel/one channel – organic search does not exist in a vacuum; neither does any digital channel. Only looking at performance for a single channel can lead to a very skewed perspective on how your site trends over time. While it is important for you to understand ROI for individual channels, don’t forget to also evaluate all channels together so you can verify that one channel is not inadvertently bolstering another.

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