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Geoff Campbell: The difference between SEM and SEO (paid and organic search)

The world of online marketing changes quickly. Over the years, terminology used to discuss both ways in which people market themselves or their organizations to search engines. In an effort not to re-invent the wheel, I think Hubspot’s article is a good starting place.

In practice, SEO (search engine optimization) has been used to describe practices to improve a website’s search rankings (originally primarily using keywords in titles and metadata but more and more having quality content, fast-loading pages, well-formatted URLS, quality links to your site, etc).

SEM (search engine marketing), which has at times been used by businesses and (Read more…)

Geoff Campbell: Google Analytics Re-certification

 

In an attempt to do right by the really cool grid format made possible by the Minimum theme I use, I want to share more small victories like my re-certification in Google Analytics. For an up-to-date list of qualifications, you can always visit my LinkedIn profile.

Filed under: S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

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Geoff Campbell: Google Analytics 301 Course (LunaMetrics)

At the risk of repeating information I’d like to briefly discuss the value of taking an analytics course in-person. in November, when we were about to launch our new website, I was taking the advanced “GA 301: Technical Implementation” at the SUNY Global Center in NYC.

I was working to ensure

that I completely understood not only the difference between Classic Analytics and the now standard Universal Analytics that my cross-domain tracking was implemented in the best possible way I knew the best way for me to remove self-referrals

In addition, although it’s an advanced course, we briefly reviewed some of (Read more…)

Geoff Campbell: It never gets easier, you just get better

When you’re out in the working world, milestones can seem to get further and further apart. Once all the firsts, and seconds, and thirds are done things can seem old hat. It only occurred to me at the end of the day today how much I had accomplished without thinking too much about any one single event and how just a few years ago doing just one of them would have felt like a feat.

This morning, some of the top decision-makers at my school wanted a review of to what extent our digital and social media efforts had borne fruit (Read more…)

Geoff Campbell: Reviewing HTML/CSS

Just a quick FYI, I just completed Codecademy’s HTML/CSS course. It’s somewhat of a commitment (I’d guess estimate of 7 hours estimate is pretty accurate), but it doesn’t require any previous knowledge and can be immediately helpful in understanding the basic structure and styling of websites, even if you don’t plan on making them anytime soon.

It’s the only course I’ve taken of their’s so far. I might take their Javascript course to understand a bit more how Google Analytics works about the kind of manual edits I’d have to make if I weren’t using Google Tag Manager.

Anyways, if (Read more…)

Geoff Campbell: Retaking “Digital Analytics Fundamentals”

I’m currently at a coffee shop in suburban Philadelphia retaking “Digital Analytics Fundamentals” as part of my review to become re-certified in using Google Analytics before my current certificate expires in September. Even after 7+ years of using Google Analytics (starting with the tracking of what people liked on my blog for Mount Allison University to present day), it’s important to go back to basics to make sure you’re keeping what’s most important in focus. This course starts with Avinash Kaushik’s definition of digital analytics, which is

“1. the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from your website (Read more…)

Geoff Campbell: Google Tag Manager Course (Analytics Academy)

Sometimes I take my advice and take Google Analytics Academy courses. This time it was something I was with which I somewhat familiar: Google Tag Manager.

When I ran into the issue of Cross-Domain tracking (tracking between a main website and a commerce/application portal, for instance), I found that learning how to use Tag Manager was a more efficient alternative to learning JavaScript and manually editing code on two sites.

 

I learned that with the help of internet research. However, it wasn’t until today that I looked into some more advanced featured (like tracking and creating reports with custom (Read more…)

Geoff Campbell: Google Analytics Beginners (Academy Courses)

Hi,

I’ve heard from some readers that my blog posts about analytics are beyond the reach of many beginners. Worry not, everyone was a beginner once. I learned a lot of the basics of GA from the Analytics Academy videos (which are now officially recommended exam study guides). The course is led by Justin Cutroni (Digital Analytics Evangelist at Google) who wrote a book on the topic (new edition out this September). Once you go through the course material I’d recommend his book (and blog) in addition to Avinash Kaushik’s books and blog (Occam’s Razor).

If (Read more…)

Geoff Campbell: Google AdWords (Re-) Certification!

Hi all,

As I’ve mentioned before, livelong learning (or, professional development) is incredibly important to me. I recently reviewed for and earned my AdWords (re-) certification.

In my case, I passed the Fundamentals and Display Advertising exams. I’m currently putting my knowledge to good use at FCS. I’ll update here with anything shareable. I wouldn’t want to help our competitors so it’ll likely be generalized tips.

Filed under: S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

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Geoff Campbell: Google Tag Manager for Cross Domain Tracking and more

In some cases learning a new software/service/technology can take more time than its worth. This is not one of those cases. The time it took for me to learn out to effectively use Google Tag Manager (GTM) for the initial purpose of unifying analytics information across different websites (in my case, our website our database/admissions/SaaS) was well worth it. Manually editing the tracking codes on each site may have been the quicker route, but this service enables the editing of a container on a single website that hosts multiple snippets.

Now, with one code insertion, I have 11 tags on (Read more…)

Geoff Campbell: Google Analytics Custom Segments for Schools

Over the last year I presented at a an industry conference about what Google Analytics can do for independent schools and higher ed.

With a running time of just over 20 minutes, my joint presentation with some great folks at WhippleHill barely scratched the surface.

I wrote earlier about why higher ed and private schools should look more deeply into their analytics to pull out actionable insights.

An incredibly helpful option to make that a faster process the ability to cut out the clutter is looking at segments. You can can compare important segments of your website visitor population across views. For (Read more…)

Geoff Campbell: Geoff Campbell 2015-05-17 16:59:25

As I mentioned in January, I added metadata (microdata, og tags, and Twitter Cards code) to the Friends’ Central website.

Added @TwitterDev Twitter Cards to @friendscentral. pic.twitter.com/iE6ZJYGLNu

— Geoff Campbell (@GeoffBCampbell) January 9, 2015

While our CMS has some limitations that does not allow us to take full-advantage of these opportunities.

Mike Petroff (from Harvard) provides a great overview of the importance of optimizing website content for social, including Buffer’s research on the impact on engagement of using Pinned Tweets (which expand by default to show a Twitter Card or attached media).

Filed under: S.I. (Read more…)

Geoff Campbell: Using Campaign Tagging to Tackle Dark Social

While “dark social”, the default/misattributions of unknown traffic as “Direct” or a similar term, isn’t very new (coined in 2012, which is ancient by web standards), tackling the issue of finding the true referral of as much traffic as possible in a systematic way is a fairly recent endeavor. Keeping analytics campaign information standardized in a large organization can be difficult, to say the least. Google has helped by providing a handy do-it-yourself link-builder but LunaMetrics has gone one step further can created a customizable Google Sheets document (with an explainer) that has more information that (Read more…)

Geoff Campbell: Quaker Works alumni magazine is out!

This news is slightly late but our alumni magazine is out.

Our Quaker Works Spring 2015 issue hits mailboxes this week. Check it out online today! http://t.co/ZG49r0kBm5 pic.twitter.com/BJgDAO737E

— Friends' Central (@friendscentral) May 5, 2015

Thanks to the hard work of Clare Luzuriaga, our Assistant Director of Communications, all the Art Direction and Design was done in house this year. I was happy to contribute with photography, an alum profile, and by co-writing two features. I’m biased but I think it’s a great look into the life of the school (and its alums).

Filed under: S.I. (Read more…)

Geoff Campbell: The Benefits of Consuming a Balanced Media Diet

As I come upon the 9-month mark as the Digital and Social Media Specialist, I’ve thought about how I’ve adjusted to stay up on local news that may affect us from the local giant Main Line Media News Network (Main Line Times, Main Line Suburban Life, Main Line Media News, etc) to the regional Philly Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine, and local NBC, CBS, and Fox affiliates.

In addition to (trying to) stay in the know about what’s happening locally, I’ve made a concerted effort to ensure I have a wider worldview by reading the New York Times (Read more…)

Geoff Campbell: Evertrue Community App @FriendsCentral

Soon after we launched our new website, a number of people here at FCS discussed the possibility of a new service we could offer alumni/ae. Leading up to and at Reunion, we shared the FCS Alumni/ae Community App (powered by Evertrue) with reunion classes.

Last night, we introduced the app to the entire alumni community and have already seen a significant response. While the company has been in the news for its social donor management tool (including in the New York Times), our focus was on providing a useful service to alumni/ae that colleges and school (Read more…)

Geoff Campbell: Measuring the “Quality” of Videos

As I move into making more videos for Friends’ Central I’m concerned with what the effect will be. Following Wistia’s method, one of the most helpful web video production sites I’ve come across, engagement/retention can be seen as an analog for quality. There are different metrics to use when trying to reach different goals but I see no better way to measure quality (at least in the eyes of your viewers), than engagement. I’m happy to say then, that my Valentine’s Day video was enjoyed by those who watched it.

 

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The day the video went up, in this (Read more…)

Geoff Campbell: Thank you, CASE District II!

I’d jut like to write a quick thank you CASE District II for awarding me an Independent School Scholarship to attend their conference last week. I’m including recap of the conference via a number of tweets during the experience. It’s always good to meet new colleagues from across the region and to learn what colleges and universities are working on. One day maybe I’ll follow up my Google Analytics introduction with a future conference presentation.

From the top:

Thank you very much CASE District II for the Independent School Scholarship. #case2dc pic.twitter.com/iFec8MY2aR

— Geoff Campbell (@GeoffBCampbell) February 1, 2015

Danielle (Read more…)

Geoff Campbell: Web Goals for 2015

One of the lessons I’ve learned in grad school (and have learned through experience to be true) is that goal-setting is important but also that those goals should be S.M.A.R.T. Though there are a number of alternates, SMART generally stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Once I get back to the office in January I know there will be a lot of news and changing variables (sports championships, college acceptances, compelling senior projects, etc) and so it will be important to know where true north is and to prioritize things that are within my (Read more…)

Geoff Campbell: Never Stop Learning (CASE D2 Conference Scholarship)

One of the biggest lessons I learned in a classroom was during 4th year at Mount Allison. It was in a seminar class about “Political and Technological Innovation”…or something. The point of the class wasn’t to memorize names and dates but to understand the how and why behind different political and economic distributions in history.

It covered everything from a guest lecture on Monsanto’s genetically modified crops, to Steve Jobs’ mixing art and science, and to Václav Havel’s role as a public intellectual. One of the most important lectures wasn’t on those topics but the future of the Class of (Read more…)

Geoff Campbell: Why Private Schools Should Dig Deeper into Analytics

“Big Data” was the big catchphrase in 2012-2013. As a graduate student at Newhouse I got a big taste of that. In 2013, my alma mater held a Social Commerce Day where a speaker Chuck Hemann, (then of PR firm WCG, now Manger of Analytics for Intel) came to talk to us about how research is changing to meet the new communications landscape. He mentioned the importance of analytics and mentioned a number of social media monitoring and engagement tools.

In the nearly two years since some of the examples are out of date but the primary message holds true- (Read more…)

Geoff Campbell: Video Marketing – What Private Schools need to learn from Higher Ed

It has been a hectic year but I’d like to share this article published in blog format by CASE and in full by NAIS’ Independent School Magazine. Although educational institutions are, in large part, slower to change than the private sector, I think many schools are doing their diligence and investing in video marketing. With our website up and running I know I’ll be focusing more on video in the new year.

Why Schools Should Invest in Video Marketing Independent School Magazine (Fall 2014)

Why Independent Schools Should Invest in Video Marketing CASE Blog (Winter 2014)

Filed under: S.I. (Read more…)

Geoff Campbell: User Experience on Private School Admission Websites

Serving as my school’s Digital and Social Media Specialist, my tasks can vary from week to week but my ultimate goal is “enhancing both internal and external marketing efforts.” A major part of that is tell the Friends’ Central story in such a way that results in increased affinity towards and interest in the school. In addition to increasing interest and affinity, a crucial part of my job is ensuring that as many people as possible who are interested complete an inquiry (and do not bounce, or get discouraged/lose interest partway and abandon the process).

The responsibility for ensuring the User (Read more…)

Geoff Campbell: 12 Weeks at Friends’ Central

Hi everyone. Sorry I’ve been remiss in posting here. It’s been a busy three months.

Yesterday marked week 13, day one at FCS. In that time period I’ve learned all a lot about my school, its mission and vision, and its place in the local independent school marketplace.

It has been a great learning experience working just outside the fifth most populous city (behind Houston and ahead of Phoenix) in the country. Montgomery County is a highly competitive market when it comes to private schools, with 21.7% of students (grades 9-12) enrolled in private school. so I have (Read more…)