As marketers, we are more than abstract ideas. We believe that measuring the results of our recommendations is critical to demonstrating success. After all, if we can’t benchmark and improve, we’re failing ourselves and our clients. We read industry news, we research, we brainstorm, we ideate, we measure, we analyze, we report, we refine.
Fortunately, we have a plethora of tools at our fingertips to help measure our efforts. But every once in a while, the exact tool we need doesn’t exist. That’s when we really get excited—because we’re presented with the opportunity to solve an internal need, and possibly share that tool with other marketers so they can also reap the benefits. Here are a few tools we’ve created that have solved some of our needs. We’d like to share them with you.
PageSpeed Insights API
Identify page speed issues of top-performing pages
In an effort to Make the Web Faster, Google released access to their PageSpeed Insights Tool and API. The purpose of the tool originated from research Google published back in June 2009. Soon after the research was published, the Firefox and Chrome PageSpeed extensions were released. Eventually, Google created an online tool which allowed users to input any web page and get back page-specific recommendations. Recently, Google released access to the PageSpeed Insights API which allows developers to plug into the tool and utilize the data returned as they see fit.
So, why is page speed important? Page speed supports on-site user metrics. Good on-site metrics support powerful on-site content. Googlebot, which crawls your site, can only understand your site’s content and topics up to a certain point. Google supplements its understanding of your website’s content with users’ reactions to your content via on-site metrics. Metrics that fall under on-site metrics include bounce rate, conversions, time on site and pages per visit. These are all based on how users interact with your site. Google has the ability to understand certain user metrics whether you have Google Analytics installed or not. If Google thinks your site has awesome content, but the on-site user metrics don’t support their understanding of your site, your site rankings will decrease.
When Google released the PageSpeed Insights API, we saw it as an opportunity to measure the page speed of top performing pages across targeted websites. So we created a tool that can look at any number of URLs for a site and provide a heat map based on recurring issues.
Social Analytics Timeline
Track the social data for any URL over time
This tool simply allows us to quickly see social metrics and measure social metrics over time for any one URL. Use cases for this tool include tracking overall social response for a blog post, a useful online tool or a great piece of content. Using this tool, you input a URL, select your time zone and watch the social metrics roll in over time. This tracks top level social metrics for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest for your selected URL. You have the ability to look at each social network individually and see how that networks performance has increased over time. It utilizes the Google Charts available in Google Drive to output interactive charts which you can use to drill down into a certain time period and view social metrics.
In a future release of this tool, we’ll track a specific URLs Google Analytics data alongside the social metrics. You can access this tool from here. Instructions for using the tool can be found here.
Give us your feedback
Use these tools and let us know how they fit into your toolbox in the comments!
Image credit: Austin and Zak