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5 Ways to Foster Creativity as a Digital Marketing Agency

As a digital marketing agency, there’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to get those creative juices flowing. Whether it be social media, content, SEO, PPC, or marketing automation, creativity is a necessary ingredient for attracting and retaining clients within the recruiting industry. 

There are endless ways to promote creativity within your organization, but I’m going to touch base on five of the most beneficial methods for successful growth 

Related Post: Why Recruiting Firms Should Hire a Digital Marketing Agency that Specializes in the Recruiting Industry ➢

Get Curious 

It’s common to lose your sense of motivation to explore new experiences the older you get. That’s why I recommend igniting that inner child to help get that creativity flowing. Venture your mind and pay attention to all your surroundings. 

Channel your inner-curious George to help spark some creativity will help you and your organization thrive. 

Create a Fun and Positive Work Environment  

With an upbeat, positive environment within your organization, the creative brainstorming process should be smooth and painless. Incorporating fun into your same-old work routine will allow you to be more relaxed and comfortable. Studies show, having a positive mood can allow your brain to think more creatively while in the workplace.  

One thing I find helpful is switching up my surroundings in the office every once and a while. Sitting at your desk can be boring, so getting up and moving into a different room within your organization can be useful in fueling creative thought. 

Remember, creating a fun and positive work environment will enhance the culture you’ve created at your company.  

Challenge Yourself and Others  

Don’t be afraid to be honest and give constructive criticism when necessary. Push yourself and other team members to look outside the box and view things from a different perspective. Your best work may stem from your team member challenging you. 

Related Post: Why Our Agency Loves Partnering with Internal Marketers ➢

Allow Time for Freedom  

Constant supervision of employees, without giving them space to get creative, prohibits them from producing their best work. Avoid micro-managing your team; let them have the freedom to make their own choices without being critiqued.  

Taking a step back and taking advantage of the freedom you have in the office will give your brain a much-needed break from all the busy workhopefully inspiring you to develop creative ideas.  

Reward When Necessary  

A great way to get employees inspired is through motivation and incentives. Set reasonable goals for everyone to meet by a certain date with rewards that can be both tangible or intangible such as money or appreciation. This will get everyone motivated to reach their goals, ultimately benefiting both the organization and them. 

Fostering creativity at work can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. These five ways will lead to a breakthrough in creativity and leave you and your team stress-free.  

Struggling to develop creative content for your business? Contact us today to give your digital marketing efforts a boost. 

modern office with desk and computer

The Proven Process: Digital Marketing Made Simple – Part 1

At Parqa, we use a simple, three-step “proven process” to help guide our customers to the results they hired us to help them achieve. As a digital marketing company, we hear from potential clients all the time, I just want more leads for my team. Like many things in life it’s simple in theory but not quite so straight forward in practice. Theres no silver bullet in business or in life. Success is defined by a process of doing a lot of little things correctly over a long period of time to get consistently positive results. 

The process we adhere to is this simple equation: brand credibility + online visibility + lead generation. 

Why can’t you just skip to lead generation you ask? Because the process doesn’t work like that in digital marketing or anywhere in your professional life. 

Before you can just get leads to call, you must have a credible brand (that is why its first in our equation). In the digital world, you may only have a few seconds to impress someone that came to learn more about you. If you don’t have credibility up and down your digital platforms, you are simply losing out on any investment youre making in attracting potential leads to those platforms. 

Related Post: Content is King: How to Build Your Credibility With Content Marketing ➢

Brand Credibility 

In digital marketing, brand identity is the attire you put on every morning before a client meeting. It may not directly correspond to a lead coming in the door, but it gives you and your company long-term credibility. Its usually visual to the client and is that first impression that you can’t take back. In terms of digital marketing, this is usually the overall appearance and effectiveness of your website and social media accounts.  

These items must mirror the image you present when you are on-site with a client or candidate. You wouldn’t invite the CEO of a $100 million company to your house for a first meeting and be in sweat pants when you answer the door, but you would invite them to your new freshly designed office space and greet them with a suit and tie. 

More and more clients and candidates are getting the voicemail or LinkedIn message from you or your company and going straight to the internet to learn about you before they ever consider calling you back.  

Does your website look professional, easy to navigate and have insightful information? Does your LinkedInprofile have a profile picture, branded images, and your career highlights clearly defined?  

Are you posting regularly on social media so people know what the culture is like at your office, what your core values are, what the hot jobs you have are, and insightful information on the industry as a whole? 

These are questions that can be further evaluated in my next blog.  

Stay tuned for parts two and three that cover the remaining two steps of Parqa’s three-step “proven process” equation: online visibility and lead generation. 

Looking to increase your digital marketing efforts? Contact us today

man typing in a google search

Is Google Jobs the New Indeed? Why Your Jobs Should be on Google Jobs

“Indeed will no longer consider Job Board requests to be indexed on the site.” – Indeed Employer Support – Job Board Inclusion Guidelines

Starting in 2019, Indeed will no longer be crawling company website job boards for FREE. This means recruiting agencies who want their jobs posted on Indeed will need to pay to have their jobs crawled.

For large national recruiting agencies like RobertHalf, this may not be an issue, but for many smaller boutique recruiting firms (with smaller amounts of web traffic) who rely on other job board sites this adds yet another marketing cost.

Note: if you currently sponsor jobs on Indeed, this likely won’t affect your cost 

What is Google Jobs?

A little over a year ago, Google launched a new job search feature right on its search results page that lets individuals search for jobs across almost all of the major online job boards, as well as job listings on a company’s website.

Google Jobs portal is different from other job portals in the way that Google does not store the job listings directly. Instead, Google redirects the user to the relevant job posting on one of the major online job boards or company job pages.

Note: on the above Google job listing you can see that there are three different places individuals can go to apply for the Healthcare Recruiter job (posted by Versique) – on the Versique website, LinkedIn or Neuvoo.

Recently, they have begun competing more and more with online job boards, especially Glassdoor and Indeed with their recently released features including: company reviews and typical salaries for positions.

Related Post: How Digital Marketing Can Get Me More Clients ➢

Why Your Jobs Should be on Google Jobs

With company jobs boards and recruiting agencies job boards no longer being crawled by Indeed for FREE, there will likely be a significant decrease in the number of overall jobs on  As a result, if you’re not advertising your jobs on other third party job boards (LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Monster, DICE, etc.) you’re going to want to work on getting your website’s jobs crawled by Google so they show up on google jobs.


Organizations that post their jobs on Google get results.
After ZipRecruiter integrated with Google’s job search experience, organic conversion rate from Google grew 4.5x. Learn More about Google Jobs

How to Tell if Your Jobs are on Google Jobs

  1. Google your company’s name followed by job/jobs (i.e. Versique jobs)
  1. Do you see one of your company’s jobs?
    1. No – (if there isn’t one there your jobs aren’t being crawled by Google) – from both your company’s website and third party applications (e. Monster, CareerBuilder, LinkedIn, etc.)
  1. Click on one of your company’s jobs
  1. On the job posting look for the “Apply Buttons” – there will be at least one, maybe more depending on how many places that jobs is listed
    1. If there is a button that says “Apply on ‘INSERT_COMPANY_NAME’ – Congratulations! This means that job is being crawled by Google Jobs and there’s nothing more you need to do.
    2. If all you see are button(s) that say “Apply on LinkedIn” or another online job board, this means Google is not crawling jobs directly from your website. Instead, they are crawling your jobs from third party applications.  Candidates can still apply for your job, they just won’t be directed to your website to apply.

*Some of the major third party job boards include: CareerBuilder, Monster, TheLadders, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, SimplyHired,, Dice, etc.)

Want to learn how you can get your company’s jobs listed on Google Jobs for Free? Click the link below.

How to Get Your Jobs Posted on Google Jobs

samsung tablet with Google Adwords on the screen

Harnessing the Power of Your PPC Search Terms Report

Have you ever wondered how to scrub your Pay Per Click (PPC) account a little further than your negative keywords? Many people do not know but there is a section inside of Google AdWords called the search terms report that can help you refine your keywords.

Related Post: How Your Recruiting Firm Should Approach Competitor Negative Keywords ➢

How To Refine Your Keywords

Inside your AdWords account, go to the “Keywords” section in the grey panel on the left side of your screen. Click on “Keywords” and you will see three navigation sections. The default section highlighted when you click keywords is “Search Keywords” which contains the keywords you put into the system yourself. The next navigation section is “Negative Keywords” and to the right of that is “Search Terms”.

PPC Search Terms ReportPPC Search Terms Report

Click on the “Search Terms” section and you will see “Search Terms” and “Auction Insights.” We’ll focus on “Search Terms” for now and dive a little deeper into “Auction Insights” at another time.

The “Search Terms” section is where most of your keywords and their close variants are shown. When you’re inside the search terms report you will see similar column headers as your “Search Keywords” section. You can add and remove columns as you see fit.

The “Search Terms” section is where Google shows you what kind of help it has provided you regarding searcher intent and searches your pages showed up in that Google deemed relevant to one or more of your keywords. This sometimes can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, you want Google to send you as much traffic as possible, but on the other hand, you don’t necessarily want to pay for traffic that will not amount to a phone call or lead.

Real Life Examples

I wanted to give you an example of an account Parqa Marketing recently took over on the recruiting side. When doing a keyword audit and examining historical search terms we noticed that the company did not realize they were coming up in searches for “recruiting” that they didn’t want.

The company was using Broad Match Modifier (BMM) which is a very common match type. When using BMM you must be careful and really look at your search terms. Some of the terms we saw inside the search terms report such as “top college recruiters” or “college recruiting employment services” were irrelevant to the client.

Another nice feature offered by Google allows you to look at the match types that a search query came up for; broad, phrase, phrase match (close variant), exact match or exact match (close variant). With this report, you can save time by adding a search query as a “keyword” or negatize a query right inside the search terms report. No need to write the query down or make a note to change it later.

Related Post: PPC Match Types For Recruiters ➢

Continuous Monitoring

You should monitor your search terms report often. Some accounts that have lots of traffic and high spend amounts should be looked at daily while accounts that have minimal spending and a low amount of clicks/traffic can be looked at every few weeks. There is no silver bullet in terms of monitoring, make sure to look over the search terms going back a certain time frame to make sure you are catching the terms/searches you want to make negative or avoid.

Just because you think the spend is minimal on some of the keywords you want to make negative, don’t think that it will not have an impact. Over time if you leave bad keywords inside your search terms report without negatizing them, it could spend hundreds of dollars or even thousands of dollars. For companies on a shoestring budget that is a huge dent in marketing dollars and potential good leads lost.

In closing, make sure you monitor and utilize the search terms report often. This report can save you a lot of money and help you create a refined and effective keyword list.

woman reviewing marketing reports

4 Tips to Optimize Your Business for Local SEO

Local SEO uses a variety of strategies — getting your site ranked on search engines like Google, business directories such as Yelp, Foursquare, Yellowbook, Google My Business listing, Bing Places for Business page, localized content on your website, online reviews and other strategies.

Below you’ll learn 4 of the most important strategies to improve your local SEO presence.

Related Post: The Importance of Local SEO and Why You Should be Investing There ➢

1. Optimize your Website’s ‘Localization’ Information

This means you should be including your address, city, county or region name naturally throughout your site (with schema markup). For businesses with several locations, this may involve creating individual pages for each location and optimizing those pages with location-specific content and keywords about your various services or offerings.

2. Claim your Google My Business Page

This should be the first online directory you take ownership of and is a first step towards helping your business display on important Google services (i.e. Maps and Google+).  Only 44% of businesses have claimed their Google My Business listing, which means by starting/investing in local SEO already puts you ahead of your competition.

3. Create/Claim your Business on Trusted Online Directories

Reliable and trustworthy online directories also play a big role in the impact of your local SEO efforts.  By creating/ claiming your business listing in these types of directories you accomplish a number of things including showing Google that your business services and information are present and consistent across the web, and you open your business up to being seen by more potential customers utilizing those online directories. Examples of these trustworthy directories include Yellowbook, Best of the Web, Yelp, Foursquare, etc.

Note: it’s important that your citations (address, phone number, website, etc.) are consistent across the various online directories. If there are any discrepancies Google will most likely avoid listing your business in the local 3-pack.

4. Get Reviews and Ratings

Reviews are critical for two main reasons, they:

1.) Portray the quality of your service

2.) Send signals to search engines telling that your site and services are trusted (yes, they are a ranking factor Google utilizes)

88% of local consumers trust online business reviews.  The number of reviews you receive, the overall quality of the reviews and the authority of the review sites themselves are all important factors for local search rankings.

Related Post: How Long Does it Take for SEO to Produce Results? ➢

Why Use Parqa Marketing

Local SEO companies help you to position your business on search engines and other digital marketing platforms/directories so you’re seen by potential customers — on their terms.

Parqa is a Digital Marketing Agency that specializes in SEO, SEM, Local Search Optimization, Marketing Automation, Social Media and content creation. We help grow your brand and drive leads through a variety of inbound marketing tactics.  See how our experts can help your business grow through search engine optimization.

macbook with analytics on the monitor

5 Simple Ways To Repurpose Your Best Marketing Content

Back in the mid-1990s, we were on the cusp of the “.COM” bubble, the turn of the millennium, and blogging began. Blogging was seen as a way to get your thoughts on paper (well, on screen actually) and maybe someone else in the world would stumble upon it and check it out. At the time, there weren’t social media channels to share it out on, and it wasn’t used to highlight your expertise in an industry.

Fast-forward twenty-plus years and the world has shifted dramatically. Today, blogging isn’t just a space to put your thoughts out in the world – it’s a foundational piece to your content marketing strategy. But what if people aren’t finding your blogs? What if there isn’t traction with the content you’re putting out into the world? There could be a number of reasons these pain points are hitting you and today I want to focus on repurposing that content you already have into other media formats.

Related Post: 5 Tips to Inspire Your Team and Yourself, to Blog ➢



Most blogs on the internet are around 500-700 words, while most webinars are around 30-40 minutes. If you read an average length blog out loud, it won’t take more than 5 minutes. Directly transferring from a blog to a webinar will clearly result in a lack of content, and your audience will be disappointed in the length of your webinar.

But webinars are a great way to tell stories about how you got to this point of sharing your knowledge. Webinars – different from podcasts – have the ability to show content, such as a PowerPoint or webpage to expand the topics you’re speaking about. In a recent webinar done by our CEO Tony Sorenson, Tony was able to tell his story on how he got to where he’s at, deliver information on the topic, and connect with the audience on the importance of the topic in our market. If Tony were to type up that entire webinar, it would be incredibly long, and most likely not something a few hundred people would want to read word for word.

Long Form Content

Long form content can come in a few different ways like ebooks, salary guides or whitepapers. Transferring a blog directly into long form content may not necessarily work (similar to the webinar) as it wouldn’t be enough content. The reason people download long form content is to receive ‘the ultimate guide’ or ‘the easy guide’ to solve a problem they are seeing in their industry or life.

Related Post: Gated Content vs. Ungated Content: When to Use Each➢


Video blogs

This is one of my favorite ways to transform a blog for a different audience. When blogs are posted to social media, someone needs to click on the blog, be routed back to the website, then read through all the way to the end in order to see your call to action. Video blogs, on the other hand, are a brilliant way to take a blog and transform it into a video that’s usually around 30 seconds long. People can watch video blogs over lunch, on the bus heading home, or just relaxing on the couch. They are quick and don’t require having the sound on (such as a webinar) since the tips are right on the screen. The best types of blogs to convert over to video are blogs such as ‘5 tips’ or ’10 strategies to’ since they have numbered out suggestions. Each slide in the video can be your 5 tips, then it’s wrapped up with a Call-To-Action to direct the audience to engage. The other great part about video blogs, is you don’t need a designer’s eye to make it look great. There are tons of tools out there to help you get started – and they’re very simple to use!


While similar to webinars, Podcasts are built solely for your audience to listen to and not watch or read anything simultaneously. Podcasts are great for people on the move – personally, I listen to them out on walks, during my lunch break, or in my car on my commute home. They’re also a great way to bring on guests to interview who are thought leaders in the industry. Podcasts can also have commercials or sponsors to encourage people to take action outside of just listening. Build a following and a cadence to allow insight into your company, your objectives and your opinions on industry new and trending topics.

Related Post: 5 Content Marketing Mistakes – That Give Competitors the Edge ➢



Infographics are similar to video blogs in that they are excellent tools for your social media strategies. These work great for blogs that are laid out in the step by step, or workflow of suggestions. Arrows, timelines, funnels or other shapes that guide from idea to idea help an infographic flow. This is also another format where a blog can be slimmed down to a handful of main points to quickly and effectively make a point. They’re also great in presentations, handouts or to reference for quick facts within a blog. The one downside to converting to infographics is they can take a lot of time, and potentially need a designer to put them together – but once completed, they are effective on social, and quickly get your information in front of prospective clients.

While getting content out in front of the world is great, having a strategy to get the right content at the right time in the right format is crucial. If someone is busy walking their dog, they most likely aren’t reading a whitepaper – but they could easily be listening to a podcast! Taking the time to figure out who your audience is, where they’re consuming content, and at what pace. Utilize the analytics and tracking to study what your audience does and capitalize on it!

Webinar On-Demand: Is Your Website Your Best Salesperson? How-To Bring Content into your Marketing Strategy➢


At Parqa Marketing, we specialize in creating and executing content marketing strategies for recruiters. Learn more about our approach to content marketing and contact us today if you’d like to discover how we can transform your recruiting firm’s digital marketing efforts.  

business projections and reviews

The Importance of Local SEO and Why You Should be Investing There

More than 50 percent of search queries globally now come from mobile devices.  As a result, more and more searchers are looking for local businesses when they’re on the go.

Local SEO can help your business stand out in search results, increasing your chance of being seen by potential customers.  In this article you’ll learn about what Local SEO is, why it’s important, and how to use those local ranking factors to rise to the top of organic results.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is SEO for location-based searches.  This means a physical address or location is a required for a business to show up in a local search as a result.  It helps businesses promote their products and services to local customers at the exact time they’re looking for them.

Local SEO strategies range from including your website and business information on your website to claiming your Google My Business listing to creating/claiming your business in various online directories (i.e. Yelp, Yellowpages, HotFrog, etc.)

NOTE: There are some local SEO ranking factors and optimizations tactics that are universal across all types of businesses/ organizations, however, there are also ones that vary based on business type.

Related Post: How Long Does it Take for SEO to Produce Results? ➢

Why is Local SEO Important?

Millions of customers conduct local searches every day to find the top local businesses in their area (both services and products). By investing in Local SEO you can help increase your chances of being seen by potential customers.

Highly Targeted and Timely

There are two main reasons why users do local searches, to:

1.) Find a specific business

2.) Find a local service or product at a local store

Local SEO provides potential customers the information that they want (targeted), when they want it (timely), and where they want it (within SERPs), making Local SEO both efficient and extremely cost-effective.

There are also many users who don’t have a specific business in mind when they execute their search for local services and products. Local SEO helps better position your business and promote your services/ product offerings to local customers when they’re looking for your type of business.

Mobile Searches Continue to Grow

According to official Google statements, “more than 50 percent of search queries globally now come from mobile devices, however it could be as high as 60 percent.”

As more and more customers use their mobile phones to find the best local businesses while they’re on the go, showing up in the ‘local 3-pack’ (we’ll talk about this more later) and having relevant business/location information within search results has become even more important.

On average, 61% of people doing a local search on their phone end up calling the business.

It’s a free Source of Advertisement

It’s free to claim your listing on Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, Yahoo Local and hundreds of other online business directories, but that may not be the case forever.  While it is a somewhat time consuming process, it’s worth it to reach highly targeted, high converting in-market prospects.

Drop in ‘near me’/ Geographic Modifiers in Searches

“Over the last two years, comparable searches WITHOUT ‘near me’ have grown by 150 percent” – Google, June 2017

This shift towards dropping location modifiers is “because people know and expect Google to deliver results that will be relevant to their location.” They assume that Google now knows when a search has local intent.  This further emphasizes the importance of claiming your Google My Business page, and other alike online directory listings.

Rank Higher in Search Engine Results

Have you ever done a google search and seen this (see right).  This is known as the “local pack”, it showcases local businesses and stores relevant to the search query/term you entered, in this case it’s “barbershops.”

The goal behind the ‘local pack’ is to provide users with better information about the top local search results (i.e. images, photos, reviews, prices, etc.)

In 2015, Google cut the number of ‘local pack’ results from seven to three.  While this change benefited those businesses 1.) with multiple stores across the world 2.) businesses that were already ranking in the first three spots within the ‘local pack’, it made local SEO even more important.

Today, local SEO can help your business appear in Google’s local 3-pack, which is one of the most coveted spots when it comes to search engine results.

“44% of people who performed a local search clicked on a local 3-pack listing, while only 8% chose to load more local results” – MOZ

“95% of smartphone users have used their device to perform local searches, out of which 61% called the business and 59% visited” – Forbes

“70% of mobile users click to call a business directly from Google search results using their mobile phones”
Search Engine Watch

Adding an SEO company to your marketing team will not only boost your local SEO but also increase your organic search engine rankings for your site.  Every small business or multi-location company can benefit greatly from using Local SEO optimization strategies.

“Only about 44% of businesses have claimed their Google My Business listing”
Local Marketing Institute

Have you claimed your Google My Business? If not, this means you as a business/company have the opportunity to jump ahead of your competition and take advantage of local SEO services and boost your businesses local online presence, before competitors catch on. No matter what type of business you own/work for, from recruiting firms and plumbers to accountants and construction workers, Local SEO can improve business. Set up your company and website for easy sales with Local SEO, opening conversion opportunities to eager customers, helping you make more money.

Related Post: Top 5 Questions Business Owners Have About Digital Marketing ➢

Why Use Parqa Marketing

Local SEO companies help you to position your business on search engines and other digital marketing platforms/directories so you’re seen by potential customers — on their terms.

Parqa is a Digital Marketing Agency that specializes in SEO, SEM, Local Search Optimization, Marketing Automation, Social Media and Content Marketing. We build strategy to grow your brand and drive leads through a variety of inbound marketing tactics.  See how our experts can help your business grow through search engine optimization.

Person working on a campaign strategy

What is SEO? – Beyond the Keywords

More times that I can count, I hear people say things like “I don’t need SEO services because my site already has keywords included.” What I love to do is help people learn and understand that SEO isn’t just about the keywords on the page, but about the overall experience search engine crawlers have on the site and, in turn, how consumers see and interact with the site.

Related Post: How Long Does it Take for SEO to Produce Results? ➢


It’s true. SEO used to be about things like keyword stuffing, link farms, etc. We all remember the black-hat days of SEO, where a few timely keywords could shoot a page up the rankings. Luckily, today’s search environment is much more sophisticated.

As search engines have evolved and become more knowledgeable on how consumers search as well as what consumers want to see. SEO has become much more about finding the relevant content for the consumer based on the intent of their search, and much less about sleezy tactics that once dominated the industry.

What does that mean for my business?

It means you have more opportunity!

Related Post: 6 Signs You Need a Content Marketing Strategy ➢


Search engines are evaluating your web pages with a much broader scoring rubric. Think about it like the SAT. If your SEO strategy is focused exclusively on keywords, it would be like only studying for the math portion of the SAT. While you may crush that portion and yield an outstanding math score, you’re going to have your overall score get dramatically dinged when you tank your reading, writing, and language portions of the exam.

Yes, like math, keywords are still important, but so too is the other vital components of SEO like the readability of your content, how easy your site is to navigate, the internal and external linking maps your site is deploying, and the overall user experience your site is providing readers. Each of these areas presents your business with opportunity to increase your organic traffic and capture the eyes of more prospective customers.

Related Post: SEO vs. PPC: Which One Should I Focus On? ➢


So, the next time someone tells you that you have opportunity to increase overall organic visibility on your site, hear them out. Ask them pointed questions about how they plan to drive marketing success.

And if you do find yourself starting a partnership with a marketing agency, here are four ways to build an effective relationship.

phone with Google search on the screen

Google Analytics 101

For a brand to succeed in today’s digital landscape saturated with competition, knowing their digital audience and how they react is a must. The best way to achieve this goal is through web analytics.

Web analytics can help any brand – big or small – understand how their audience enters and behaves on their site. Analyzing this data, brands can tailor a marketing strategy geared toward their audience, allowing them to achieve their specific business objectives.

Related Post: How to Build Your Brand Through Digital Marketing ➢

Google Analytics Interface

Once you select the desired site, you’ll land on the reporting dashboard, as seen in the snapshot below:

  1. Reports Menu: An Overview of the key categories of your Google Analytics report.
    The Google Analytics report is categorized into four main parts:
    Audience Report –> what are the characteristics of users visiting your site?
    Acquisition Report –> how do you acquire users? How many? From where?
    Behaviors Report –> how do users behave on your site?
    Conversion Report –> do users take a desired action on the site?
  2. Auxiliary Menu: Option to save, export data into a spreadsheet, share data and intelligence (insights from Google).
  3. Time-Period (Date Range): The date range selector is at the top right of every page. By default, Google Analytics will show data for the past 7 days. Click the arrow next to the existing date range to open the selector. Once you’ve selected a new date range, click “apply” to update your report.
  4. Graphs and Tables: This area will show graphs and tables of the metrics from the report you choose from the reports menu.

Now let’s break down the four main categories.


The audience report gives you a quick overview of your website’s overall performance, including the number of sessions, users (both new and returning), page views, average session duration, bounce rate, user locations, device information, and the operating system used by your users. Below are the most useful reports from the audience category:

Demographics: The demographics report will show the age and gender of users. This report is not enabled by default.

GEO: The GEO report will show traffic segmented by language or location (country, state, city).

Behavior > New and Returning Visitors: This report provides information about the total number of visitors your website receives and breaks it down further into new vs. returning visitors.

Technology > Browser and OS: This report provides information about what browsers and operating systems your site’s visitors have used.

Mobile > Overview: This report provides information regarding the device people have used to access your site (desktop vs. mobile vs. tablet).


Up next is an overview of your website’s top channels generating traffic. These include direct traffic, organic search, referral, social media, display advertising, email and paid search (i.e. AdWords). Below are the most useful reports from the Acquisition category:

Channels: This section provides information regarding the different traffic mediums such as organic, referral, paid, social and others. Which channel has the best conversion rate and why?

Referrals: The referrals report provides information about the segment of your web traffic that arrives through another source, such as a link on another website.

 AdWords: This report provides information about your current and past AdWords campaigns. What is your best performing campaign? Which campaign has the highest bounce rate?

Related Post: PPC vs. SEO: Which One Should I Focus On? ➢


What good are analytics if you can’t track behavior (still good, but that’s not the point)? Fortunately, that’s not a concern you’ll have because it just so happens to be that the behavior overview report reveals what pages people visit on your website and what actions they take while visiting. It also provides information about user behavior flow, pageviews, bounce and exit rates, page speed insight, site search, and events. Below are the most useful reports from the behavior category:

Behavior Flow: The behavior flow report visualizes the path user’s travel as they go from one page or event to the next. This report can help you discover what content keeps users engaged within your site, and also identify potential issues with content.

Site content > All Pages: This report provides information about what the most visited web pages of your website are. Are your most important pages being viewed?

Landing Pages: The landing page report provides information about the first page people visit when they land on your site. These pages (outside the homepage) are mostly reached via organic search. What is your most viewed landing pages and how can you mimic this success?

Exit Pages: The exit page report provides information about the last page people visit before they leave your site. Is the user getting stuck? Do these pages need calls to action to push the user further down the sales funnel?

Site Speed: The site speed report provides information about the time it takes for your site’s pages to load. It also provides suggestions you can make use of to improve your pages’ average load time.

Site Search: The site search report provides information about the search queries that visitors use to find products or pages on your site. Is there a common theme a new page or FAQ section can solve? Keep in mind that you’ll need to enable site search functions to make use of it.

Events: Events are user interactions with your site’s content. Events provide information regarding your visitors’ activities such as downloads, mobile ad clicks, gadgets, Flash elements, AJAX embedded elements, and video plays. We suggest events being set up via Google Tag Manager.


You can’t forget conversions. These include form filling, product sales, or any other activity that achieves a business objective. For monitoring purposes, the conversion goal overview report reveals the status and completion of goals. Each goal has to be manually set up.

Learn how Parqa can help positively impact your business’s online presence

Glossary of Terms

Session/traffic:: A session is when a user visits a website and spends time browsing through pages and then leaves.

Direct Traffic: visits from users who either type the URL in directly or reach the website via bookmarks. Links in work email will work as a bookmark link.

Organic Traffic: visits from organic searches (Google, Bing) and not from paid (ads).

Referral Traffic: visits from links on other sites.

Social Traffic: visits from known social websites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIN)

Email Traffic: visits from email with URLs tagged correctly with tracking parameters.

Pageviews: How many times a web page has been clicked on and loaded.

Unique pageview: aggregates pageviews that are generated by the same user during the same session.

Unique visitor: This term refers to a user who visits your website more than once within a specific time period (e.g. a month).

Average session duration: The average time users spend on a page. Google Analytics measures this by calculating the time between one page being viewed and clicking on another page on your website. This means that if someone spends 20 minutes thoroughly reading a blog post and then leaves the site from that page, Google Analytics will not record that time.

Goal: Goals can be set up in Google Analytics to track conversions. They relate to a quantifiable action that your website visitors can take that you deem a success. For example, buying a product, signing up to your newsletter, or downloading a PDF are all goals.

Conversion: This is when a user does something that you want them to do (goal) such as purchasing a product, completing a contact form, etc.

Goal conversion rate: This is the percentage of visits on a site during which the user completes one of your goals (e.g. buying a product).

Bounce rate: Percentage of users who visit a page on your website and leave.

Custom reporting: Google Analytics has the option to create custom reports based on the metrics and dimensions you’ve selected. Custom reports present the information you have selected in a way that works for you.

Exit page: The last page a user views on your website.

Filters: A means of controlling or changing the data that appears.

Events: Events are user interactions with content that can be tracked independently from a web page or a screen load. Downloads, mobile ad clicks, gadgets, Flash elements, AJAX embedded elements, and video plays are all examples of actions you might want to track as Events

Landing page: This is the page that users first see during their session, also known as an entrance page.

Percentage of new sessions: The percentage of overall users that were first time users to your site.

man on Google Analytics

How Long Does It Take for SEO to Produce Results?

When it comes to digital marketing, people ask me this question a lot: “how long will it take for SEO to produce results?” No matter what industry your business is in—whether your company is looking to create or improve their digital presence—this is an all too familiar question that everyone wants to know the answer to. Unfortunately, the answer is not so simple.

Over the past decade, SEO has evolved significantly. It now better reflects a website’s overall quality and the relevance of user’s searches, while simultaneously penalizing websites that utilize older, black hat SEO tactics that used to provide quick results—for example, low-quality link building or keyword stuffing.

Nowadays, the success of your online campaigns and the time it takes to see results can vary based on a number of factors, including:

  • The size of your SEO project(s)
  • How long your website has been around
  • If you’re currently involved in any SEO efforts
  • How much content is on your website
  • What market you’re targeting (and its saturation/ competition)
  • And most importantly: what your ultimate goal is

With so many factors at play, you need to look at SEO as an investment—not a short-term quick fix.

“SEO that generates results for your business is not a strategy that can come to fruition overnight, despite what many SEO firms and specialists may claim.”

Producing quality results takes time. SEO should be considered a long-term marketing strategy that requires thoughtful planning, cross-departmental cooperation, and a results-driven approach.

With that being said, there is a plausible scenario for what your SEO efforts might look like during the initial months and the results you might expect from its implementation.

Related Post: What is SEO? – Beyond the Keywords ➢

Initial Steps—Planning the SEO Strategy (0-2 Months)

These first few months are mostly dedicated to planning, and it’s unlikely you’ll begin achieving any noticeable results to your SEO rankings or bottom line. Depending on the size of your business, this stage can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to complete. This planning process includes:

  • researching relevant keywords
  • benchmarking your competitors (keywords, traffic, site performance, and online marketing initiatives)
  • auditing the performance of and content on your existing website
  • getting a better understanding of your ultimate goals

SEO Strategy Implementation (3+ Months)

After the planning process, the next step is to begin the implementation. This stage has an open-ended timeline as SEO is an ever-changing strategy that requires constant monitoring and optimization of content. As your SEO strategy matures, revisions and corrections may be needed to accommodate for new opportunities.

Stage 1 Addressing technical site & SEO issues

During this time you’ll be working on fixing the technical issues on your site that affect your search engine ranking.

Stage 2 Begin execution of long-term content marketing strategy

This includes blogging, writing, and optimizing content for product category pages, and service pages (what we call ‘$$$ pages’). A strong content strategy is likely one of the most important elements to include in your SEO efforts as it can help drive your website to the top of search engine rankings.

NOTE: You may start seeing an increase in traffic within a few weeks of publishing great content, but remember that SEO is an ongoing approach.

Related Post: SEO vs. PPC: Which One Should I Focus On? ➢

Realistic Timeline for SEO Results (7-12 Months)

While your keywords will likely start performing better prior to the 7-month mark, in all reality, 7-12 months is likely how long it will take before you start experiencing any impactful results from your SEO efforts. Google and other search engines have gotten smarter over the past few years, and they can no longer be tricked by content that’s stuffed with keywords or doesn’t make sense. Google is looking not only at your content, but also at your reputation. Is what you’re saying reputable? Do you have a history of great content? Do you have high-quality links? The more of these questions you can answer “yes” to, the better your search ranking.

Why Partner With an SEO Firm?

While you can’t take shortcuts on your way to profitable SEO, that doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile. If you want to go about SEO the right way and potentially see results more quickly, it’s smart to partner with an SEO firm. The best SEO companies will save you months of research and implementation time by using their industry experience and expertise. Many times an SEO firm will have worked with a similar client in your industry and can leverage that experience to deliver better results for you. They can also give you a clear timeline on when you should see specific results and how they’ll deliver those results.

SEO: A Long-Term Marketing Tactic with Strong ROI Potential

It’s easy to get impatient when it comes to SEO, but success by any standard will rarely come within the first three months. If you quit after just a few months because you’re not seeing results that justify the cost, you’ve essentially just thrown away your money due to unrealistic expectations. SEO is a long-term investment—one that requires at least a budget for 6-12 months. But if you give it enough time, it’s one of the smartest long-term marketing strategies around for growing your business. Partnering with an SEO firm can help you develop a realistic timeline and see solid results that deliver a strong ROI in the long-term.

Related Post: Top 5 Questions Business Owners Have About Digital Marketing ➢

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