About Kalena Jordan

In my day job, I'm Director of Studies and tutor at the online training institution Search Engine College. In my spare time, I'm a search engine agony aunt and SEO to global clients. I've been marketing websites online since 1996 and blogging about search since 2002. To learn more, visit

Google Analytics: Wellington and Christchurch Workshops

Google-AnalyticsI’m presenting two Google Analytics training workshops on behalf of the Institute of IT Professionals (IITP) over the next couple of weeks. The first one is in Wellington and then I’ll be heading down to Christchurch for the other.

Under the banner Using Google Analytics to Increase Website Traffic and Conversions, these half-day workshops will show you step-by-step how to set up Google Analytics and what key metrics to track in order to measure the success and improve the performance of your web site. Included will be real-life case studies, practical examples and sample reports that you can immediately adapt to suit your own analytics needs.

Don’t think you’re in for a boring day of number crunching either. For proof that Analytics can be fun, check out this video produced by the Google Analytics team. It takes the frustrations we’ve all experienced with online checkouts and shows how they might play out in real life:

At the end of the workshop, attendees will be able to:

  • Set up a Google Analytics account.
  • Implement Google Analytics tracking code into their site.
  • Determine which are the most important web site metrics to track.
  • Track visitor pathways that lead to conversions.
  • See how their web site visitors are interacting with their site.
  • See what keywords are providing the most traffic to their site.
  • See what web sites are providing the most traffic to their site.
  • See what pages on their site are the most popular.
  • Track various marketing campaigns in Google Analytics e.g. AdWords, SEO, email campaigns.
  • Determine the best performance indicators for their web site.
  • Interpret analytics data and make web site decisions based on that data.
  • Create meaningful web site analytics reports for customers and stakeholders.

Below are the details and booking links for Wellington and Christchurch events. Please share with anyone in your network who you think might benefit from attending:

Using Google Analytics to Increase Website Traffic and Conversions – Wellington
Date: Tuesday 18 August 2015
Time: 1:00 – 5:00 pm
Venue: Terrace Conference Centre
Terrace 5
Levels 2 – 4
St John House
114 The Terrace

Using Google Analytics to Increase Website Traffic and Conversions – Christchurch
Date: Monday 14 September 2015
Time: 1:00 – 5:00 pm
Venue: Airport Gateway Motor Lodge
45 Roydvale Ave

Similar events for Auckland will be announced shortly. Workshops for Hamilton and Dunedin are not currently booked, but can be arranged upon demand by clicking the On Demand link on the pages above.


30 Days as Geek For Hire – Day 11: When One Door Closes…

doorsI had a great start to Day 11. In the morning I managed to get in touch with the potential Hawaiian client and had a promising 30 minute phone conversation about what they were looking for. It ended with an invitation to pitch for the management of their site migration from one domain to another, including related SEO clean-up and fun with 301’s, canonicals and lost links, oh my!

Then I received a message on Elance. I’d been invited to pitch for a 6 month SEO project for an Australian-based female apparel company. I was really intrigued by this one and put my proposal together quickly, before anyone else had the chance to respond. The client contacted me within 30 minutes of receiving my proposal and asked for a project plan and budget. So I requested access to her Analytics, set her up on the Google Search Console and ran a mini SEO Audit.

She’s also keen to trial Google AdWords and have someone run A/B split testing on social media campaigns. What I’m most excited about the project is that it plays to all my strengths and gives me the opportunity to work on SEO, AdWords and social media, ensuring I won’t be bored. Hopefully I’ll hear something back tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I had been asked by my long-time friend Kim Krause-Berg to join a team of web veterans in contributing some low-cost web-based services to webmasters in the US via her site Creative Vision Web Consulting. So the rest of the day I spent in a WordPress cloud, creating my service pages and packaging my skills into logical digital products that wouldn’t break the back of a small business. I decided to keep all my services at the USD 99 price point, as they say $100 is a psychological barrier when it comes to online purchasing.

Thinking I had reached my opportunity quota for the day, I was surprised to receive an email from a local client and friend, whose partner was interested in meeting me. Apparently he runs a local web agency and was looking someone with SEO skills to provide related advice to digital start-ups. Perfect! So I got in touch with him and we are scheduled to have a coffee next week.

My promising day ended with a glass of wine and a smile on my face. Bring on Day 12.

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30 Days as Geek For Hire – Day 10: Direct to Hawaii, via Narnia

Could it be Aloha Hawaii?

Could it be Aloha Hawaii?

Compared to the disaster that was Day 9, today was relatively uneventful.

I had a phone call from Christine – Yudoozy’s Chief of Freelancers – who needed to take my profile through the vetting process before she could release it to potential employers. This involved a 15 minute chat with me and the provision of contact details for at least two recent clients or employers.

Next, I found a Skype message from a tour company based in Hawaii, who were apparently after some SEO advice. Aloha! Imagining claimable business trips to Hawaiian islands had me extremely motivated. Mentally packing my bikinis and sarong, I dialled the number provided. Unfortunately, the call went through to voice-mail, so I left a (possibly manic) message for them to call me back.

Around lunchtime, I received an @ reply on Twitter from the online testing company responsible for the provision of skills tests for ODesk and Elance. Having seen the first few posts in this “30 days” series, they were apparently amused by my brutally honest feedback about the quality of their skills tests and wanted to discuss it in further detail. They invited me to get in touch via email, so I sent them some of the stabby comments helpful notes I’d taken during the skills testing process, and threw in a few suggested improvements.

The rest of the day was spent on LinkedIn, where – egged on by well-meaning SEO buddies – I joined some popular industry groups in the hopes of making desperate pleas for work in the face of upcoming bankruptcy making a good impression and promoting my services via conversational networking.

Somehow, I got side-tracked into a pointless conversation about the merits of GitHub and ended up in the geek version of Narnia for the afternoon. But hey, at least the day didn’t end with me refunding money to another asshole.

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Q and A: Is it good SEO practice to have navigation menus in both header and footer?

QuestionHello Kalena

May I ask you about navigation menus on a site?

Imagine that a web site has two navigation menu blocks – on the header and on the footer of the site. Some buttons/links are doubled (or even all the links).

On one hand, it’s good for site’s visitors. When they reach the bottom of each page, there is no need to scroll up it to find and click on the necessary navigation button.

On the other hand, we all know that doubled links to the same page are not good. Bots can consider such practice as an attempt to give more additional weight to the page. Moreover, doubled navigation links together with the all other page links may exceed the number of 100.

However, if it stands for usability, site design should give visitors an opportunity to find the necessary buttons in a quick way.

My question is “Is it good to add doubled navigation menu to header and footer of any web site?”

What is your opinion on this topic? I’d highly appreciate your answer.

Thank you in advance!



Hi Maksim

The answer depends on a few factors:

1) Is your main navigation menu built with Javascript (e.g. drop-down menu) or other functionality that search engines may have difficulty indexing? If the answer is yes, then it might be a good idea to include a plain text navigation menu in your footer to ensure that search robots can index the links.

If the answer is no, the main navigation is already search engine friendly, then there is no need to duplicate it, in my opinion. Keep in mind that the more links you have per page, the less PageRank value each link passes to the linked page. So you can dilute the value of each page on your site if you’re not careful. Also, Google recommends you keep the number of links per page to a maximum of 100 or they may not all be indexed.

2) Does the addition of another menu help the usability of the site? i.e. is the page content so complex that visitors may require the second navigation menu to help them navigate around? If yes, then include the extra menu. If no, then… well you know the answer.

I guess the important thing is to make the decision with visitors in mind foremost and search engines as a secondary consideration.


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30 Days as Geek For Hire – Day 9: Horrible Bosses

bad-boss Remember how I used an image of Jack Torrance from The Shining in my last post? Well that turned out to be quite fitting, because the job opportunity I wrote about morphed into a horror story.

Day 9 started off very promising. My mini AdWords audit was well-received and the California software company representative I was dealing with had just sent me an email titled: “Can you begin effective tomorrow?”.  They had accepted my retainer proposal and agreed to hire me for a three month trial.

I sent off my first invoice and was pleasantly surprised when it was paid online within the hour. So I blocked out the time in my schedule for the next three months and celebrated with an espresso and some peanut butter cookies.

Meanwhile, I’d received an overnight message on Facebook from a US-based colleague (and fellow search marketing agency owner) who alerted me that he had also been invited to pitch on the same AdWords project. He asked if I realized that there were five agencies – including mine – currently poking around the client account, presumably preparing similar audits.

“Perhaps this company is trying to cobble together some free advice from multiple agencies“, he said. “Should we be providing advice at all? My spider sense says this is a bad situation.”

I knew I was the only agency granted admin access when I was last in the account, so logged in to double check. My friend was right – there were now multiple agencies with admin rights to the account. Now why would they grant access rights to other agencies if they had just hired me to clean up the account?

As I’d already been paid for my first month, I wasn’t overly worried. Perhaps they had just been obtaining comparison proposals from those agencies and had forgotten to turn off access after they hired me. I mean everyone knows that you can’t logistically have more than one agency managing your account. Too many cooks and all that. So I sent off an email as follows:

“I have been alerted to the fact that four competing agencies currently have full access to editing your AdWords account. I’m a little confused about this. What is stopping staff from those agencies from undoing any of the changes I make to your account? I’m not really comfortable proceeding until their access is removed. Please advise.”

The response I received back from the company rep raised my hackles, especially as my US colleague had been cc’d in:

“You’ve already been paid for the month, if you are uncomfortable with additional simultaneous audits, please refund the payment at your discretion. Otherwise, we are happy to trial you out as you suggested.”

But then he forwarded an email that had been sent to my US colleague earlier, threatening legal action for revealing the bulk agency situation to me in the first place. I’m not going to post the email here, but needless to say, it included phrases such as “Expect legal repercussions and loss of status with Google” and “We’re happy to help clear up vermin from the industry” and ended with “You ought to seek professional help”.

That pretty much told me everything I needed to know about this client. I should have heeded my colleague’s warning. And even though I really, really needed the guaranteed income, there was no way I would feel comfortable helping the client after that. So, waving goodbye to money I had already mentally spent on overdue bills, I let out a big sigh, refunded their payment and sent off a final email:

“It’s simply not viable or professional to have multiple agencies working on the same campaign at once. As you are not willing to allow me solo account management, my performance on the account will always be compromised or undermined by the potential activity by other users with edit access. Also, you forwarded commercial-in-confidence emails between us to persons in a competing agency, as well as sending me your private email correspondence with them, which is highly unprofessional. Therefore I have no choice but to withdraw my proposal and refund monies paid.”

To which I received the delightful response:

“Please send me a copy of the refund receipt or we will start a charge-back process against you.”

Lesson learned. Some projects are just not worth taking on, regardless of how badly you need the money.

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