Google Analytics comes to Squidoo!

Here is some news that is sure to delight all you stats junkies: Squidoo integrates Google Analytics for Lensmasters. By this I mean properly integrated, with all that yummy Javascript goodness that we haven’t had until now. Why is this so exciting? Well, for two main reasons:

  1. There’s a single place on set it up, and it automatically appears on all lenses (as well as your profile, trophies and other pages).
  2. You get the full set of available statistics, much more than with the old image based trackers, including: search engines, keywords, referrers, bounce rates, length of visit, click events and much much more.

For more information about this, read How to Track Lenses with Google Analytics. There is also some additional tips on how to get the most out of GA, and how to interpret the results.

Now for some specific advice for Lensmasters looking to transition their stats:

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Adding “ReTweet” Buttons To Your Lens

The TweetMeme retweet button is for website and blog publishers who want to encourage their audience to tweet their content on Twitter. The button shows a live count of the number of times your webpage or blog post has been tweeted. You may have already seen buttons like this one appearing on this and other blogs all over the ‘net:

retweet « Here’s a working example. Give it a try…

Now, you can have it on your Squidoo lens too. Best of all, you don’t even need an account on Twitter, but you can help your visitors spread the word about your lens for you. This looks great in either the Guestbook module, or the Lens Love widget, or anywhere else you like.

And here’s the code you need (edit as required):

<a href="http://api.tweetmeme.com/share?url=URL of lens&source=username" target="_blank" title="retweet"><img src="http://api.tweetmeme.com/imagebutton.gif?url=URL of lens" alt="retweet" width="51" height="61" align="left" /></a>

Notes:

  • You must put in complete URL of your lens, for example: http://www.squidoo.com/squidoo. Don’t forget to put in both places, once for the link and again for the image.
  • If you have a twitter account, then put your username after &source=, so that you get credit when others do a retweet. Otherwise, leave it blank.
  • The code above will display the button on the left, with any following content wrapping around it. You can change it to be align=”right” if you prefer, or remove the alignment altogether.
  • If you get a big question mark after adding it to your lens, you should double-check your code. Make sure there aren’t any spaces or blank lines were there shouldn’t be.
  • Login to TweetMeme.com with your Twitter account, and see stats for all of your the lenses that have been tweeted.
  • Don’t feel you have to add this to every single lens you own – start with just the few that get decent traffic and a semi-technical audience.
 

The Best Lens Directories

Some of the best places to get backlinks to your lenses are directories. These are websites that collect and categorize links to other websites, and there are a growing number of directories specifically tailored to Squidoo Lenses.

I have been assessing the relative merits of these Squidoo directories, and I have put together this review of the best ones for your lenses. The ones I’ve listed here have been proven to provide backlinks, and will pass PageRank and maybe even a little traffic.

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Give Your Squidcasts More Legs

SquidCastSquidcasts. These are short messages that you can send out from your lens, and they will be seen by anyone who has favorited your lens, or joined your fan club. To see the squidcasts from the lenses and Lensmasters you have subscribed to, you have to visit the Favorites tab on your dashboard.

On their own, this is about as exciting as they get.

But here at SquidUtils, the messages that you cast can do so much more, and reach out many more people (and search engines)…

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Making the Most of Squidoo Tags

When you create a new lens, the creation wizard asks you for one Primary Tag, and three other tags. When you edit your lens, you can add more tags to the list – up to 40. Knowing what tags do will help you figure out the right ones for your lens.

Tags help Squidoo choose the right lenses whenever someone uses the internal Search facility, but tags aren’t the only it factor uses. Squidoo’s search tool also uses the text from within the lens itself too, so if yours contains a particular phrase then it’ll appear in a search for that phrase.

The Discovery Tool directly connects lenses that share the same tags, which is much better than indirect linking via tag pages. These appear in the blue box immediately after the lens Introduction, with the title ‘Explore related pages’. This can result in a dozen or so links to your lens from other lenses.

The Primary Tag has more weight than the regular tags for searches, so make sure you use your main keyphrase (not your title!). For more details, see the previous blog post How To Pick Your Primary Tags.

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How to Use Your Lensmaster Feed

One of the oldest tools here at SquidUtils is the Lensmaster Feeds. These are RSS Feeds that contain links to all of your lenses (or groups). These are perfect for syndicating – which will result in many websites linking directly to your lenses. And the great thing is, as you build new lenses, they will automatically appear on all the sites that are publishing your feed.

If you are a frequent user of these feeds, you may notice that your primary Lensmaster feed is now provided directly by Squidoo, and not from SquidUtils any more. But don’t worry, all of your links to the old feeds will be redirected, and all previous syndications will continue to work.

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