Benjamin Estes's Posts



Effecting Change: Discovering the Technical Problem

Distilled’s Seattle office once engaged with an enterprise software company, who intended to merge their web properties onto a single domain. Leadership suspected gathering them together would be better for branding. But it turned out to be no small task — more than eighty different sites housed bits of their content!

As we talked with their team, we saw why the sites had proliferated. The company’s web team coded their brand site by hand. As a result, marketing teams couldn’t upload or change their own content. Marketers felt disenfranchised, so savvy employees gave themselves a voice. They made their own platforms.

As outside observers, we saw that this consolidation would be a temporary fix. The client needed to simplify content creation. Otherwise, they’d wind up playing whack-a-mole with their own teams. Painting a clear picture of these management issues is an important part of what we do.

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Technical SEO Audit Checklist for Human Beings: September 2017 Update

GET THE AUDIT CHECKLIST

Updated September 13, 2017. Changes include:

  • Made each line easier to understand
  • Added pointers for going straight to the relevant reports in each tool#
  • Changed which tool to use for some rows
  • Added more Google references
  • Removed a couple dubious lines (site speed, HTTP/2)
  • Removed superfluous timing column
  • Removed whole sections that made the audit less MECE
  • Fixed cases where some cells would say “Incomplete” and others wouldn’t

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Google Data Studio: Using Google Sheets as a Data Source

Data Studio lets us visualize data from many sources. At Distilled, we’ve been using Google Sheets to do most of our reporting for years. It works well—but transitioning to Data Studio is so satisfying. It’s easier to manage permissions. And it’s also easier to get Google Analytics data into Data Studio than Sheets.

Here’s the thing: it’s still downright fun to use Sheets as a data source in Data Studio. You can see your data, interact with it, and then chart it. Sheets gives you the power of Data Studio without the bother of managing databases. Anyone can do it.

This post explains how to use Google Sheets as a data source in Data Studio. I recommend opening these documents as you follow along:

SEE the final report

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Google Data Studio: Who can See My Data?

We recently introduced several Distillers to Data Studio. The first question they asked?

If I share my report with someone, am I also sharing my data?

The answer is no! And yet—there’s more to it.

Data Studio sharing settings are rational and helpful, but they aren’t intuitive. Documentation spans several pages, so it’s hard to see the whole picture. Here’s the concise description of share settings you need to get started:

Data Studio uses familiar Google Drive sharing features

In Data Studio, there are two kinds of things: reports and data sources. Connecting a data source to a report allows you to design a report visualizing its data.

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5 Analyses You can do Without an SEO Platform

Having a major SEO monitoring platform like Brightedge or Conductor is great. They come with integrated rank tracking. Plus, they have interesting interpretations of that data. A strict rank tracker won’t provide that.

These insights come at a cost. Lots of costs, actually:

  • Money - the monitoring platforms are expensive.

  • Time - a good configuration job takes time. It implies long-term commitment.

  • Inertia - it’s harder to get data out than in. We analyze within the tool. This means long-term commitment.

What if we could get the best of these analyses and avoid these burdens? Say we’re working with a small site. Or we’re working with a small section of a site.

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