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What is new on the latest version of JoomlaWatch (1.2.18 beta)
The other day I was checking out my website live stats and wondered if there would be anything new for JoomlaWatch at Codegravity.com, so I went to the site and found out there was a new version of JoomlaWatch available. I felt glad for getting the PRO lifetime license about a year ago.
What is new?
The new version comes with 3 major changes or new features:
You will notice 2 new buttons on the top horizontal menu of the component, the SEO and the Heatmap buttons. When you click on the Heatmap button, you are taken to a date based report for the current day, you can also check the Heatmap for other days with the date controls on the top and bottom of each screens.
What is the Heatmap?
It basically consists of a list of the single pages (URLs) that have the most clicks among all visited pages. You also get information of the click-count change rate on a 1-day, 7-day and 28-day change rate basis.
The HeatMap Tab:
The general report allows you to measure how changes or variations in the positioning and appearance of the different objects in the page affects the user interaction within you website. This is very useful to experiment with styles and positioning without having to wait a few days for checking the results when compared with Google Webmaster Tools.
Clicks: The clicks column gives you a color coded count of the number of clicks per page/url. The color-coding is the same as for the heatmap color coding; it ranges from purple for fewer clicks to red for a lot of clicks.
Title: It is the page title, you may see repeated titles and you can differentiate them by comparing the URI columns of each row. Each title is a link, once you click on one of the links, a new tab is opened and the page in question is displayed with the heatmap on top of this page. This will be explained in more detail below in this article.
Uri: The Uri column and data is a great point of reference for differentiating pages and titles. It is especially useful if you are using SEF URLs, which of course you are using if you are reading this article.
1-day, 7-day and 28-day change percentages: These three columns will give you the change rate percentage of each page in if compared to the same page one day before, seven days before and 28 days before.
The reason for having a 28-day change rate is that 28 represents 4 full weeks, if you compare 30 days you would be always comparing 4 weeks and a couple of days.
The charts column: if the above periods are not enough, you may click on the chart icon and the very left of each row and you will be prompted with a pop-up displaying the following:
On the pop-up you will get a more detail representation of the amount of clicks for the selected URL in a daily basis. Below each bar you see the change rate of that day and the date and day of the week.
The second row of bars is a graphical representation of the total number of clicks for the week of the year in the format: week/year or 52/11 for Week # 52 of year 2011.
On the top right corner you get a printer icon, that gives you the option to print that report, if clicked, it will open a new tab with the report and will give you the option to print to a file, a PDF or other media depending on your PC/Mac configuration.
Date Controls: Still on the heatmap tab, you get, at the top of the page, the usual date controls:
The date controls allow you to navigate across days in order to compare heatmap data for specific days.
The Heatmap Overlay: When you click on any Page Title you will get a new tab with a regular page and an overlay on top of this page. It takes a few seconds to generate the overlay for each page, you can check if you are in the correct page â€“ the heat mapped page â€“ if you check on the URL, it should look something like this:
And include the parameter "Joomlawatchheatmap" on it. If you wait a few seconds, the overlay will appear. It places a yellow bar on the very top of the page to let you know you are viewing the Heatmap Overlay:
The overlay has three main controls or shortcuts:
Finally, the actual heatmap looks like a real infrared heatmap. The color range varies from light purple for one (1) click to red for several clicks and displays circles or spots for the clicked zones of the page.
At first after checking on only a few pages I thought: well, it is expected to get lot of clicks on a registration form, and in fact the heatmap gets less concentrated on pages that require less user interaction, such as scroll and read-only pages or pages with no input fields in general but. Even in some pages with no forms or input fields I was able to notice small elements that were making the website users interact with my website.
I found out that not necessarily one has to put something sparkling or very colorful in order to capture the visitor's attention. In the below example I notice visitors were there looking for some usable or useful information. In this case, they were looking for given line of text that would allow them to solve a problem. This is a particular case but, the point is that users found something that attracted their attention more than adds and colors, you can mimic the same behavior on your users if you put some useful data such as recipes, codes, advices, or other stuff or content that you consider your users would find useful and then, you can place adds or banners or links to other stuff very close to this points.
Another thing that I noticed is that the heatmap can be a bit overlapped or inexact, specifically in a horizontal way. I guess this is due to the page being clicked on different screens resolutions but still you can easily guess where those clicks belong at.
After checking on some more pages I suddenly started to realize a how users were using my site and what they were looking when they navigated the site. I started to get a better idea of how to get a real advantage of the new HeatMap feature.
From The figure above (Figure 11), I can figure or imagine that users that were about to register were:
Besides the specific HeatMap tab and overlay, when you are checking on the LiveStats, among other new things you'll see one (1) or two(2) pointer icons right next to each line or URL and also a color-coded click count right next to each pointer icon.
The first of two pointer icons:
If you see two pointer icons next to each other, For example, the two icons you see right next to the second and third row of Figure 12. The first icon and click count belong to the logged in user. It means the user that was navigating that URL was logged in and recognized by the system. You may click on the first pointer to get the heatmap of this user only.
The Second Pointer Icon:
The second pointer icon on a set of two is representing the normal heatmap for that page. If you click on this icon you will get the regular heatmap overlay for that page.
Only One Icon:
When you get only one icon, such as in row #1 of Figure 12, it means the URLS is being visited by a non-logged-in user or a visitor, if you click on the only pointer icon of an URL, you'll get the regular heatmap of that page as well.
I think, in simple words, you get a graphical representation of how users are navigating through every specific page. What things they do, what things capture their attention the most and what others are not capturing any attention.
I wish I could know exactly what my visitors are looking at the most when they navigate across my website but that is impossible now days. With the new version of JoomlaWatch I can at least know, in real-time, what my users are being attracted to by their click trace...
You will find out that there may be a page with a high number of visits, but it may not necessary be a page with a high number of clicks and you need to ask yourself: Is this page really benefitting my rank or on the other hand is it only increasing my bounce rate? The Bounce Rate it is a measurement of visitors who arrived a page via Google and immediately left.
How Does It Work?
When you open the Traffic Flow section of your Joomla account, you’ll notice that a nice graph is rendered. This graph represents the basic flow of traffic on your site.
As you can see there, you still get the “heat colors” for a quick visualization of traffic flow, but you also get the hard data presented to you in a clear form.
Customizing Your Traffic Flow Data on Joomla
There is a great deal of customization possible, allowing you to change the way your chart looks. Notice the “Select page,” “Root outgoing links count” and “Nesting level” options above the chart.
Studying Your Own Site
Reviewing the charts above, you start to get an idea of what pieces of your website are most interesting to your website visitors. In the case of the first start, you can use the simple heat map coloring system and notice that most people are visiting /downloads/ after arriving at the site.
Similar to the Database Status page, in which you are presented with a lot of information for review but not as much interactive capabilities as, for example, Live Stats, the Modules / Component Sizes page on your JoomlaWatch might not bring you a lot of excitement. But it will bring you a lot of information quickly, which is one of the major goals of JoomlaWatch in the first place.
Bringing Up the Site
By now, you might be well experienced at navigating around JoomlaWatch. But for beginners, it’s worth briefly explaining how to find the Modules / Component Sizes feature.
Either navigation path will bring up the same page, Modules / Component Sizes.
Let’s log in to JoomlaWatch and find Modules / Component Sizes. You’ll find the page looking quite similar to ours here:
Above the left-hand table, you’ll see a couple of alerts:
Using and Reviewing the Tables
A simple perusal of the tables in Module / Component Sizes will show you three columns:
Of course, you might have to wait for them all to refresh if you want to sum up all of the information contained in each table and take a look at the total amount of size of these components and modules. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see:
Again, you’ll have an option to “refresh all” here. If reviewing the total is where you want to go, you can simply log in to Modules / Component Sizes and scroll to the bottom first.
Reviewing module and component sizes is not something that will happen on most regular traffic or site reports. But it is a feature on JoomlaWatch to allow you a total review of everything that’s on your Joomla site. If you need to check out an individual component or module – or even review all of the ones that are on your site – you should head over to Modules / Component Sizes right away and get to refreshing. That will help you learn all you need to know about your own site.
It’s important to measure these databases for a number of reasons. The first is load time – you don’t want a database getting so large that it ends up affecting the load time of your website. The second is spam attacks. Databases are often “hack points” for spammers to infiltrate your site and post some of their spam links.
Opening up the Database Status function on JoomlaWatch is exceptionally easy. Either use this handy feature at the top of all of your JoomlaWatch functions:
…or you can open it up under the top menu by clicking Components -> JoomlaWatch -> Database Status. Not too hard to remember.
It might seem like a lot of information to digest at first, but let’s take a closer look and explore what each column really means.
Using the Graph Icon
As is the case in the Live Stats feature, clicking on the graph icon brings you – what else? – a graph to look at. In this case, you can review the statistics of each individual database table as it relates to previous days.
Database Table Sizes
Scrolling down (which actually takes a while for us, as we have a lot of database tables listed), you’ll come to the next section of measurement which relates to the database table sizes. Again, reviewing these sizes can be crucially important to maintaining a site that does not occupy a lot of space.
This table is more straightforward than the one you saw above, but it’s still worth exploring exactly what’s going on here.
There is a low level of interaction when it comes to using the Database Status page. Essentially, this page is generated for you to review your databases and not make many changes. Although you can tinker around a little bit and review the individual graphs for each database table, the function of Database Status is to inform you in the form of a list. In many cases, this is exactly all you need.
Another great SEO Tool from CodeGravity (JoomlaWatch)
Search Engine Optimization
is all about making your site readable, not only by the search engines' bots but also by the end user. If your website is readable bot crawling will be smoother and your site will have less trouble being indexed.
SEO Basics refers to the correct use of tags within your markup. The title tag is very important, not only because it shows up on the search results page, but because it is meant to tell users and bots what the page is about. The title should be unique for each page within your site and it's also important for it to be brief and descriptive. Another tag that should be wisely used is the description meta tag. The description should also be unique for each page of your site.
One of the SEO pillars is Site Structure which defines how easy it is for users and bots to navigate through your page. URL's play the leading role on how easy it is to navigate a site, and because of this it is of outmost importance to ensure that the url's are easy to read. A way to do this is by making sure our url's contain readable words instead of unrecognizable parameters, this way we will be giving visitors and bots a lot of information about our site. Take into account that url's show up on the search engine result's page, and keywords in the url are usually highlighted.
Another SEO pillar is Content. Basically your site will be indexed accordingly with the quality of the content on your site.
Last, but not least, a very important part of SEO is Analysis and this is specifically where JoomlaWatch comes in. Only through analyzing the site's stats will you be able to find opportunities for improvement. The SEO Report compliments the other great JoomlaWatch tools will give you an overview of what is going on from the moment a user types the keywords in the search engine up to the moment they leave your site.
The brand new JoomlaWatch SEO Report Tab.
Another new feature of the recently released 1.2.18 version of JoomlaWatch is the SEO Tab. The SEO tab features the most popular URLs that were found and followed by visitors on their Google searches, the keywords or phrases they searched for and relevant data for each keyword or search.
From this report, along with the page title of the visited page ( the page that was referenced to the user by Google ), you get in general :
Date Controls: These are the usual JoomlaWatch date controls. They help you navigate across dates in a day-by-day basis and they provide a way of quickly going to today's date without having to go back on our steps when looking at the historical report.
Total Visits Count: On the right-top corner of the Report, you get an overview of the total amount of visits your site has had in the selected date that came from Google Searches. Along with this number, you get the percentage that this number represents out of the Global Visit Count (Google + other sources).
In figure 1, we can see that for the selected date, Google referenced a total of 249 visitors to my website. Right next to this I can see that Visitors from Google represented a total of 13.9% out of the total visits count of my website for the selected date.
Page Title List: Right below the general visit count, you get a list of page titles. Each page title itself is a link to the website page that was visited by the Google user. I recommend doing control+click on the page if you want to check it out, otherwise you would be taken away since the link will open in the same tab.
Individual Pages SEO Report:
Each page title has its own data table and each data table has the following characteristics (columns):
1. URI: The URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) column displays the list of keywords or key phrases that users entered in their search terms when they were directed to your site. They are displayed in descending order , by visit count. Each keyword or key phrase is a link.
In order to corroborate the accuracy of the report, you may click on any of the keyword(s) links and a new tab will be open and you will be seeing the actual Google search results. This is done by inserting the recorded user query in the GET request of a Google search request. This way you can verify that you are actually seeing the mentioned results.
One thing that you need to keep in mind is that Google search results may vary from one user to other depending on their saved cookies, browser preferences and physical location.
Tip: If you just opened a Google search, even if you site is listed as first for the specified keywords, click on it (give it one more click for relevance), then stay on that page for a few minutes and click another link, leave that page open' this behavior may help you prevent Google from detecting a not-clicked search result if you don't follow your link, and may also help you prevent Google detecting a Bounce, that is when the search results is clicked, the link is followed by the user but he leaves the page immediately after that.
2. Search Result Num: This simple displays the position your page was displayed at in the search results for the user specified keywords.
3. Count: The amount of times the system recorded the same set of keywords or phrases. Basically the amount of visitors that found your site using the same search phrase.
4. Percent: This column displays the percentage of visits that each set of key words represent from the GLOBAL visits count. Again, on Figure 1, I can see that the first set of keywords represents 1.95% of the overall site visits.
5. 1-day, 7-day, 28-day change rates: If you have previously used JoomlaWatch, you are familiar with these columns. They represent the variation between the currently selected date and the day before, then 7 days before and 28 days before. The reason for having 28 days and not 30 is that 4 weeks are exactly 28 days and not 30.
6. Charts (Figure 2) : these are similar to the other reports charts They give you the Daily and Weekly stats of the selected page in a two rows display. The first row of data below each bar is for the trend variation and variation rate. The colors are intuitive, red for a decrease and green for a raise. You also get the option to send the chart to the default printer. I my case, I use the printer functionality to store as PDF.
7. Most Dynamic Keyphrases: (Figure 3) The most dynamic keyphrases report is located at the bottom of the page titles list. This report displays a slightly different table with the following data:
This part of the SEO report is especially useful for monitoring multi-country search results. Remember that search results may vary depending on the geographical localization of the visitor. The goal here should be to reduce the average position by reducing the max position. Hopefully in the future we will be able to click on the max position in order to see what country the visitor was visiting from. In the meanwhile, one solution can be increasing the amount of keywords and potentially related keywords on the pages being optimized.
SEO + Live Stats Integration
Similar to the new heatmap section, the SEO section is also integrated to the existing Live Stats report. On the LiveStats Report, you will notice that certain URLs, besides indicating you the URL they came from (the referrer URL), they indicate 'Search Result Num.: ..'
The Search Result Num.: is the position your website URL was listed at in the user's Google search results.
The next line is the keyword(s) or phrases the user entered as search terms. Just like in the main SEO tab, you can click on this line and new tab will be opened to show you the real Google search and its results. You may also click on the URL line (your site's URL) and it will take you to the URL within your site that the Google user was directed to when looking for info.
Note: The SEO functionality only works for Google Referrals being Google the industry's standard.
Email Notifications: You will also receive nightly SEO reports for your site via email. The component will deliver the SEO report to the default email address pre-configured in the emails tab.
Using JoomlaWatch along with Google Analytics.
There is no need to have a GA (Google Analytics) script/key on your website in order to have the new SEO report working properly and giving you insights of your site's SEO performance at Google.
JoomlaWatch is in fact no competitor of GA, it is a tool that is meant to be used as your ally in the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) process. While GA provides a standardized way of monitoring your site's traffic and SEO performance over time, I the new JoomlaWatch SEO toolset is meant to be used day by day in real time, to monitor real time data and act in a faster manner than you would do if you have to wait to see visitors trends in GA.
I personally think you can get real benefits from using the two tools together. GA will provide you industry's standard reports and JoomlaWatch will give you real time SEO monitoring and click tracking.
Also, since JoomlaWatch engine resides directly at your site, it was possible for CodeGravity to add additional tools to it to help you control not only SEO but complete site traffic, traffic flow and anti- spam filters (also improved in the new release) and IP blocking.