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Juliette Moore

Google Analytics and Digital Marketing: The Basics

Digital Marketing and Google Analytics

Everywhere we look, we’re bombarded by advertisements — targeted posts that seem to read our minds, businesses offering similar products or services, sponsored features that receive top billing when we perform a simple Google search.

It’s an oversaturated, relentlessly competitive market, which means it’s essential for business survival that you maximise your exposure and place your services or offerings in front of the right audience. But how exactly do you do this? And for smaller businesses, how do you do it without breaking the bank?

A strong digital marketing framework using the power of Google Analytics will go a long way toward helping you stand out amongst your competition. And the best part? It’s easy once you understand the basics. Keep reading to learn how you can use Google Analytics to boost your digital marketing strategy and grow your business.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a data collection and insights service that enables you to track statistics (such as how many people visit a given product page on your website) and to fine-tune and optimise your website and online presence for performance and conversions.

Essentially, it tells you who’s visiting your website and tracks their behaviour within your digital ecosystem. It’s an incredibly powerful tool for businesses of every size and industry.

What does Google Analytics track?

Google Analytics tracks a slew of information regarding your website visitors, including location, age, gender, interests, purchase preferences, and device type (mobile, tablet, desktop, etc.).

Outside of this basic demographic data, it tells you which of your website pages they visit, how they navigate there (do they come from a Google search? a Facebook ad? a different page within your site?), how long they stay on a particular page and on your website as a whole, whether or not they click any links, and which actions they take (product purchase, newsletter subscription, etc.).

Why should you use Google Analytics?

First off: it’s free. And second? It’s a truly valuable tool in your digital marketing kit that can help you better understand your audience — what they like, what they dislike, what compels them to stay, what loses their interest — and subsequently refine your website (messaging, imagery, user journey and experience) in order to drive sales and traffic.

With Google Analytics, you can tell what’s working (social media posts and campaigns, keyword targeting, word-of-mouth) and allocate more resources to those channels and platforms — and you can stop wasting time, energy, and money on strategies that aren’t providing you with solid returns.

Getting started with Google Analytics: a breakdown

First, head to the Analytics landing page to create your account.

Click ‘Set up for free’, and choose a name for your account. Customise your data sharing settings, and click ‘Next’.

Analytics gives you the option to measure data on your website, app, or both. Choose the option that’s best for you, and click ‘Next’.

Here’s where you enter the website URL or app information you’d like Analytics to pull data from. Google calls these entities ‘properties’.

Accept the terms and conditions, and create your account.

You’ll see an ‘email communications’ pop-up; select your preferred option(s), and hit ‘Save’.

Analytics will then take you to the tracking code page. This code enables Google Analytics to track your data, and it needs to be added to each of your webpages. The method by which you do this depends on your hosting platform (WordPress, Shopify, etc.), and a quick Google search should give you the step-by-step instructions you need.

Once you’ve added the code to your webpages, you should immediately see data in the ‘Realtime’ section of the left-hand sidebar (marked by the clock icon).

Next, you’ll want to set your business goals. Goals are the critical actions you’d like users to take on your website, whether that’s purchasing a product, signing up for your email newsletter, reading a piece of your content, or anything of the sort.

To set a goal, click the ‘Admin’ button at the top of the dashboard, and hit ‘Goals’ underneath the ‘View’ column on the right-hand side.

Click the red ‘New Goal’ button, and either choose from one of the template options (things like ‘Place an order’, ‘Make a payment’, and ‘Create an account’) or create your own custom goal. You’ll add a goal description and details (follow Google’s instructions), and click ‘Save’.

You can have up to 20 active goals at any one time, and goal conversion data is stored in the ‘Conversions’ section of the ‘Realtime’ tab in the left sidebar.

Using your data and insights

Once you’ve got your account and goals set up, you can start using Google Analytics to refine and optimise your online presence and performance through digital marketing.

Analytics offers several different reporting categories, all easily accessed via the sidebar on the left of the dashboard.

The Audience category tracks basic demographic information such as age, gender, interests, and location. Change the date range at the top to view time-specific data (useful if you’re tracking the success of a particular campaign, messaging around a new product launch or content piece, etc.).

The Acquisition category tells you how visitors landed on your website or webpage (social network, organic Google search, etc.). If you have a Google Ads account, you can link it to your Google Analytics account (in the ‘Admin’ section) to measure the success of ads and keywords and to incorporate that into your analytics.

The Behaviour category offers insights into your website performance and content — such as how quickly your site loads, which pages are the best-performing, and which pages are the worst-performing. It’s highly useful in determining which pages or sections of your website you might need to spruce up in order to keep people within your ecosystem.

And finally: the Conversions category tracks the success of the business goals you’ve set up.

Each report comes complete with layers of detail, so you can go as in-depth on your performance and analytics as you want.

Want some help tracking your digital performance and implementing Google Analytics? Book a strategy session with Harper!

Google Analytics can be a bit daunting — but we can help make it easy. At Harper, we specialise in helping businesses develop digital marketing strategies specifically tailored to their needs.

If you’d like some help setting up Google Analytics for your business and understanding how you can use the data and insights it collects to improve awareness, increase sales, and grow your business, then book a free digital strategy session with us here.

How To Get More Google Reviews

Get More Reviews

By now, you probably know the importance of having reviews against your Google Business listing. But it can be tricky to encourage your clients to review you, as there are quite a few steps involved.

To make it super easy, you can create a short cut link that directs people straight to your listing and opens a new review.  Here’s how you do it:

Step 1: Find your “place ID”

To find your place ID, go to this link.  Search for your business name, then copy the ID code

Step 2: Create your link

Your unique url will look like the below, but you’ll replace [YOUR UNIQUE CODE] with the Place ID generated above.[YOUR UNIQUE CODE]

Here’s what ours looks like:

How to Increase Brand Awareness and Boost Profits with Google Shopping

Google Shopping Ads

If you’re a retailer with an online presence, chances are you’re constantly looking for ways to increase your brand awareness, build your customer base, and sell more through the myriad channels available in today’s marketplace. Whether it’s via your website, a distributor, or social media, there’ve never been more opportunities to get your products in front of potential customers — but how do you ensure you’re taking advantage of the right channels? The answer: invest in Google Shopping.

What is Google Shopping, and how does it work?

Those products that appear at the top or along the side of the page when you search for something like ‘black Nike hoodie’? That’s Google Shopping.

Google Shopping ads account for a whopping 76.4% of all retail search ad spend, and they generate higher click-through and conversion rates than any other pay-per-click advertising method. A cost-effective way for you to market your products, Google Shopping uses Google Ads (where you build your shopping campaigns and set your bids) and Google Merchant Centre (where you build your product feed) to create ads that then show up when someone searches for your specified keywords.

How can you win at Google Shopping?

If you do Google Shopping right, you can minimise your spend, maximise your profit, earn valuable repeat customers, and take your brand awareness to a new level. So what’s involved with doing it right?

First: as far as Google is concerned, your product feed (which you manage in Google Merchant Centre) is the most important aspect of Google Shopping. That’s because in order to generate your Google Shopping ads, the search engine needs to be able to pull from a clearly defined, precisely detailed product feed.

You’ve got two options when it comes to building your feed: do it manually, or offload the work to an extension. The former likely makes the most sense if you’ve got a smaller product offering — but either way, you need to ensure that your product title is accurate and optimised for search queries and that your product descriptions are captivating and thorough.

This leads us to tip #2: put yourself in the buyer’s shoes when it comes to those search queries. Say, for example, that you’re a housewares retailer offering a variety of goods such as bath products, kitchen appliances, and home furnishings. You’re writing the title and description for one of your bestselling SKUs — let’s call it a bath mat — and wondering how best to describe it to achieve a high ranking on Google Shopping.

So imagine you’re a potential customer. What would you search for in order to land on that product? ‘Decorative blue bath mat’? ‘Plush floral bath mat’? ‘Shag runner bath mat’? Whatever the case, project yourself into the customer’s mindset and tailor your keywords and descriptions to that mindset.

And speaking of those bestselling SKUs: tip #3 involves being purposeful about what you choose to sell on Google Shopping. Depending on your budget, it may not pay to advertise your entire catalogue; instead, focus your efforts on products people are likely to repurchase or goods with the highest margins.

Now that you’ve decided which products to sell, it’s time for tip #4: be strategic with your bids. Rather than setting the same bid for all of your goods, go a little higher on the products that sell faster — and then monitor your feed to see what’s working and what’s not, and adjust your bids if your products aren’t generating the number of clicks you’d like.

The bottom line on Google Shopping

Google Shopping provides you with an easy-to-use, intuitive sales channel that gets your products in front of potential customers as soon as they hit the ‘Search’ button. Fine-tuning your strategy and learning how to adjust keywords and bids may take a bit of work — but when you remember that Google Shopping dominates retail search ad spend (with nearly 80%), it’s easy to see why the time and financial commitments are worth it!

Harper Digital are Google Shopping Experts

Keen to test the benefits of Google Shopping for your retail business? We can help with everything from configuring your Google Merchant Center feed, to setting up and optimising your Google Shopping campaign for maximum return on investment.

Contact Harper Digital today for a complimentary strategy session, and see how Google Shopping could help your business grow.

Harper Digital named finalist in 2018 Google Premier Partner Awards

Harper Digital is honoured and thrilled to be named a Display Innovation finalist in this year’s Premier Partner Awards, presented by Google Partners.

The Premier Partner Awards honour innovation in digital marketing across Search, Mobile, Video, Display, Shopping and Growing Businesses Online.

Our award submission included a profile describing our recent work for Voodle, who were looking to promote sales of the newly released Wellington edition of Monopoly, and turned to Harper Digital for guidance and assistance.

We took care of every aspect of the strategy, from designing and building a dedicated landing page, through to designing the Banner ads, and building and optimising the Display & Search campaigns in collaboration with Voodle.

Over the course of the 2 month campaign we served in excess of 1M impressions for a completely new brand and generated almost 7,500 visits to the Wellington Monopoly website.  The momentum and brand awareness this created in the market helped Voodle move 4,200 units of the product with a retail value of $250,000 through their retail network, thereby exceeding their sales target by 280%.


 “The results were far greater than we would have ever anticipated for a relatively small investment”

explains Hagen Bower of Voodle Limited.


Harper Digital is part of a select group of digital specialists that Google celebrates as Premier Partners. To qualify as a Premier Partner, digital marketing agencies and professionals must pass a series of exams and prove their expertise in using and applying Google’s advertising products.

Premier Partner Awards 2018 winners will be announced in December 2018 at

Integrating SEO and PPC to maximise results

An age-old question in the world of digital marketing is “Which is better: PPC or SEO?” And our response is almost always “It depends, but usually both.” While this may sound like a bit of a cop out, there really is no one-size-fits-all answer – it all comes down to what will work best given the unique factors that make up your industry, company and product or service.

What we can say is that a two-pronged approach will offer the best results most of the time for most businesses.


Digital Marketing Analytics

Well, SEO and PPC are complementary marketing models, each with their own pros and cons. When used in conjunction, they can effectively bolster the other’s weak points, maximising your chances of hitting all your business goals in the short as well as the long term. Read on for a quick primer on the basics principles of SEO and PPC and find out how you integrate them into your marketing strategy.


What are the benefits of SEO?

SEO is the practice of raising the visibility of your website via organic (unpaid) search engine results. About 67 percent of all clicks on search engine result pages go to the top five listings, while the first page receives around 95 percent of web traffic. To get in on this action, you need your brand to appear as high up the results page as possible when a prospect types a business-related query into a search engine.

  1. Long-term visibility

Perhaps the great advantage of SEO is its longevity. Unlike PPC, there’s no expiry date on SEO content, making is sustainable and – if executed correctly – very profitable over the long term.

  1. Strengthen brand

Smart SEO content not only helps clients find your company on search engines but can also play a key role in positioning your brand as an authority in your space. Blog posts, FAQs, and how-to guides all lend credibility to your brand, which can increase your chances of conversion.

  1. Cost effective

It does take a while to start seeing results with SEO, but after the initial groundwork has been laid the clicks are more or less free. SEO traffic is organic, meaning there’s no direct cost per click or lead as there is with PPC, which makes SEO more financially sustainable over the long term.


What are the benefits of PPC?

Whereas SEO is more of a long-term investment, PPC is geared toward getting results in the here and now. PPC allows you to immediately get eyeballs on your product or service, and highly customisable targeting options ensure your efforts are focused in all the right places.

  1. Instant visibility

Launching a new product? Need instant feedback? Running a flash sale? Sometimes you simply don’t have the time to build up a marketing campaign. PPC excels in these situations, giving your brand an instantly visible platform.

  1. Better analytics

Search engines do a pretty good job of concealing organic search metrics in the name of user privacy. However, the same rules don’t apply when it comes to PPC, giving analytically savvy marketers deep insight into which keywords are converting, ROI and more.

  1. Budgeting consistency

While the leads generated by PPC do come at a cost, the ability to cap daily spend ensures the marketing budget doesn’t get out of hand. Combined with smart, localised keywords, PPC really can deliver fantastic ROI.


A case for using both SEO and PPC

As you can see, SEO and PPC have their own strengths and weaknesses and work best when used in synergy. PPC offers instant results and the information you gain from PPC campaigns (whether it’s A/B testing, analytics information or keyword data) can be used to fuel deeper SEO strategy. Using a combination of SEO and PPC also strengthens your contact points, allowing you to more effectively guide prospects through the funnel from initial awareness all the way to conversion.

So, SEO and PPC should be used in tandem. But how can you start applying them to your business?

While SEO is a pretty deep field, the good news is that there are many things you can do yourself to start optimising your website. Applying the fundamentals of on-page SEO (keywords, meta tags, SEO-friendly headlines and more) are critical for helping search engines understand what your website is about, which in turn can help you climb the results ladder.

In addition, creating a Google My Business listing, maintaining a Facebook business page and establishing your company in local online directories can add more authenticity to your brand, which can further boost visibility. Finally, working toward developing a backlink strategy (that is, links on other websites that point to your website) can also do wonders for your search engine rankings.


Curious about how SEO-friendly your website currently is and how you could improve? Register for a free SEO site audit and we’ll give you a comprehensive report revealing how you can better optimise your website, as well as a free 30 minute strategy session.

Welcome to Harper Digital

Harper Digital is a new digital marketing agency based in Auckland. After years of working in the industry for larger, corporate players, the team at Harper Digital launched the business as a way to do things better.

We offer all facets of Digital Marketing, and everything is created, maintained and optimised in-house. We don’t send your website build off shore, nor do we have a bunch of non-locals writing your newsletters.  Our creative and technical talents are part of the local community, because we are local, we get you, your business and your market.

When you meet the Harper Digital team you can be confident that the person who recommends a solution is the one actually delivering on that strategy. We also make a point of holding regular review meetings with you to ensure you are part of formulating the ongoing strategy and we are staying on track to achieve your goals.

So if you are after a one touch solution for your digital marketing that delivers continuity, agility and results, you need to talk to us. 

Thanks for reading!

-Harper Digital Team.