Analytics Tools That Will Help You Measuring Your Online Marketing

Whether you are an independent consultant or you run a much larger company, marketing matters.  It’s important to the success of your business. As marketers, you and I are convinced of this. But let’s face it: marketing isn’t an “exact science”. Read Here.

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It can be very difficult to determine whether or not your marketing investment of time, money and effort is giving you the results you want.

You may love your new, beautifully designed website, but does it make visitors want to stay awhile and learn more about what you do and how you can help them? You may be crazy about your new email campaign, but how is it performing? How are your open rates? How’s your click-through rate? When readers do click through, how many of them convert?

Done well, marketing can boost your company’s sales and profits beyond your wildest expectations. Done poorly, it can be a financial “black hole” that drains your company’s cash flow. Needless to say, you want to do it well.

The Ultimate Proof Of Online Marketing Effectivenes

So how can you tell if you are doing it well? The ultimate proof is in your conversion rates. That is, how many shoppers become buyers? Or in a B2B content campaign, how many website visitors enter your content funnel?

Think about this: if your conversion rate is in the tank, how much does your pretty website really help you? How much does your huge email list matter? What do you care if you have many thousands of social media followers that “like” or share your updates if your online marketing efforts never help you make any sales?

As you are striving to maximize your conversion rate and enjoy the highest possible marketing ROI, there are certain key marketing metrics you can and should measure. Today, we will talk about some tools that can help you do this very effectively.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to measure for measurement’s sake. You want to measure your marketing efforts so you can observe your performance and make changes as needed.

Is your email open rate low? If so, this is a problem you need to fix. Are new visitors to your website “jumping ship” almost as soon as they show up? You need to find out why, and you need to do something about it!

Once again: measure relevant marketing metrics so you can take action and improve your results, not so you can collect a bunch of random numbers. Read More.

 

 

Are You ‘Layering’ SEO? You Should Be.

SEO isn’t what it used to be. Read Here.

Ten years ago, an SEO specialist might spend 40 hours a week on keywords, title tags and content manipulation. Nowadays, he or she must possess a much broader skill set and think far more strategically.

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That’s because there’s been a shift toward Search Marketing Integration (SMI) or “layering.” This concept is forcing digital marketers to become master collaborators who can effectively utilize cross-departmental initiatives to fuel a rise in organic visibility.

RelatedSEO Basics: Keyword Research Made Easy

The credit for this idea has to go to Rand Fishkin, CEO at search-software company Moz. During a conversation with Rand, I asked him whether the term SEO was still relevant. He explained that, rather than looking it as something distinct and isolated from your other business and marketing initiatives, you “need to add SEO as an important review layer on top of all of those other things.”

I think this is a really good way to conceptualize how SEO needs to be integrated into all aspects of your business to have the greatest probability of success. It really helps to visualize these concepts, let them sync in and “get it.”

In order to become a master collaborator and get the most out of your search efforts, it helps to break your collaborative efforts into four distinct areas

1.    Interaction
The first thing every successful digital marketer must do is learn to interact with the different departments within their organization. This has to be done regularly and consistently in order to produce results. The only way to discover the SEO opportunities that exist elsewhere in your organization is to communicate with your colleagues and actively undercover them. This includes attending cross-departmental meetings, happy hours and formal training sessions. You can even uncover SEO opportunities during conversations at the water cooler.

2. Persuasion

Once you’ve had a chance to interact and identify opportunities, you need to motivate your colleagues to help you achieve your goals. The best way to approach this is to find a champion within each department. I won’t bore you with tactics for motivation, but it’s vitally important to have a friend that can communicate initiatives from within their department. Having a reliable ‘point-of-contact’ can drastically help you turn ideas into actions and push your initiatives up the priority ladder. Read More.

 

Holiday Social Media Marketing: Wonders & Blunders You Can Learn From

Having the right social media marketing campaign during the holiday season can mean the difference between plentiful gifts beneath the company tree or lumps of coal in the company stocking. Tensions are often high for retailers, consumers, and marketing departments alike during the busy season, as everyone works to stay on top of demand, trends, and the competition. Read Here.

Holiday Social Media Marketing

Given that religious holidays are the reason for the season, some consumers can be a bit sensitive to brands and businesses capitalizing on the occasion and taking advantage of employees’ family time to generate more revenue.

With the right amount of planning, careful consideration, and a dash of sugar and spice, holiday marketing campaigns on social media can generate buzz and even get your brand in front of potential customers who you may have missed otherwise.

Learn from the brave brands that have gone before us about the do’s and don’ts of holiday internet marketing with this year’s Social Media Holiday Wonders & Blunders List.

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Flashback to December 2007. OfficeMax launches a user-generated viral video campaign called “Elf Yourself.” The site encouraged visitors to upload photos of themselves, friends, family or pets, whose faces were then placed on dancing elf bodies, creating videos that could be shared on social media or as ecards.

That December, ElfYourself.com became the fastest growing site of the month, reaching 39 million unique visitors in the United States, according to TechCrunch. Over the length of the campaign, the site attracted 100 million unique worldwide. The next year, OfficeMax teamed up with JibJab Media to bring the campaign back, in a bigger and better way. Read More.

What to Do if Google is Allergic to Your Mobile Website

A Google Think Insight article says that 67% of mobile users who land on a mobile optimized site are more likely to convert. Furthermore, it also says that 61% of mobile users are likely to move onto a competitor’s site if the page they landed on isn’t mobile optimized. Read Here.

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If a site has an “m-dot” prefix before the URL, which means it’s optimized for mobile viewership. Another way to optimize your site for mobile is by using responsive design, which doesn’t require a separate m-dot site. With a responsive design, the site automatically adjusts its layout specific to the device being used.

Here’s the thing: Google itself also made clear that its algorithm would prefer responsive design over a mobile-optimized site. And the web giant has several reasons:

» Mobile sites are not device-universal. Your prospects will not only be viewing your website through smartphones alone; there are tablets and pads that could also access the web, and mobile sites will not be able to accommodate each one of them. A responsive design can and will adapt to the device environment.

» You’ve been working on your site’s SEO ranking, now you’ve got two sites. Having a separate mobile site means maintaining SEO across multiple domains, which would spread out the SEO links and authority you’re trying to optimize for. You’d be doing twice as much work while getting two pieces of half-results.

» Sharing would be chaotic. Consider this scenario: Your prospect reads your mobile site content on his smartphone and finds it shareable, so he shares the link on Twitter. When the followers of that prospect open the link on their desktop or laptop computer, the mobile version (m-dot link) will load.

» It redirects users to irrelevant pages. Not every page on your site may have a mobile version created for it. So when a visitor goes to that “un-optimized” page, he may be returned a 404 error page, the mobile optimized version of your homepage (not the original page they requested), or the desktop-optimized version of your site. This, of course, can be annoying to people, especially the busy ones. Read More.

SEO Basics: Keyword Research Made Easy

When it comes to optimizing your website for search engines, knowing the best keywords for your brand is critical. But sometimes the process of researching your keywords can get out of hand. Read Here.

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A keyword, or keyword phrase, is an easy way of referring to the queries people type into the search bars of their favorite engines. As a website owner, you want to know which keywords your customers are searching for so that you can use SEO best practices to optimize your site for them and improve your chances of appearing in the natural search results for these queries.

Say, for instance, that you run a pet-grooming business in Bloomington, Ill. You want your website to appear at the top of Google’s list for the keyword phrase “pet grooming Bloomington, Ill.”

Related: How Google ‘Author Markup’ Can Help Protect Your Content and Build Your Brand

You might have already read about the importance of things like keyword competition or keyword search volume when conducting your keyword research. But forget all of that for a moment. The only keywords you need to worry about when you’re starting out are the keywords your customers are actually typing in to their search engines.

There are a few different ways you can find these keywords:

Use your customer research knowledge. Nobody knows your market better than you do. Instead of relying on a third-party keyword generating tool, start writing out a list of all the different keyword variations your customers might be searching for. Following our previous example, a pet grooming keyword list might include “pet haircut Bloomington, Ill,” “dog grooming Bloomington, Ill” and “pet grooming Ill.”

Look in Google Analytics. If you have Google Analytics installed on your website, log in and head over to the “Traffic Sources” menu. There, you’ll be able to separate your organic search visitors and see a list of the keywords they used to get to your website. Unfortunately, a large number of your results will come up as “Not Provided” (thanks to anonymous browsers and Google’s proprietary reasons), but add the phrases that you do see to your growing keyword list. You can also find similar information in your Google Webmaster Tools account. Read More.

5 Google Analytics Reports You Need to Succeed in PPC

ppc successPaid search and Google Analytics work hand in hand in so many ways (including right there in the AdWords interface).  This month’s series week is all about how you can make the most of Analytics in your account, whether that’s with content experiments, event tracking or custom reporting.  We’re going to find all of the ways that you can get even more insight into the clicks that you’re paying to get. Read Here.

Hopefully it comes as no surprise that Google AdWords and Bing Ads interface data are not the end-all-be-all of PPC analysis. To kick off this month’s series on Google Analytics, I thought it might be a solid start to review a handful of the standard reports available in GA that you can (read: had better be) using to optimize your paid search campaigns.

The one thing I will say is that for the purpose of this post, I’ll mostly be looking at data for paid search traffic. To filter down to this layer and be sure you’re only looking at Analytics numbers for what you’ve sent through via PPC, you’ll need to go to the Advanced Segments tab at the top of the Analytics interface. From here, simply select the ‘Paid Search Traffic’ check box, hit Apply and you’re set.

When I’m looking at all traffic data, I’ll be sure to mention it in that section.

Now that we have that settled, here are the Analytics reports I recommend you take a look at to further optimize your PPC strategy:

This one we can keep kind of short and sweet. When filtered down to only PPC data, the heat map report that comes up to show what countries are coming through your paid search ads is really helpful. It lets you see what areas you may not be targeting or optimizing for already and come up with a new strategy for those regions. Yup, that’s it!

Traffic Sources – Sources (**ALL TRAFFIC ANALYSIS**)

I periodically dig in to the All Sources report to see which of my traffic sources has the highest bounce rate, or the highest percentage of new visitors. From these two reports you can get some ideas of which sources may need more specific remarketing strategies set up to target and bring back in to the site/funnel. You combine the bounce rate with new visitors and you can narrow your focus to those sources with the biggest total traffic impact.

Further, you can see referral sources in this report, which can help you see where traffic may be coming in to the funnel from new(er) places that you may need to begin strategizing around more directly (i.e. LinkedIn, etc.). Read More.

How to use the Internet for business

I found the following tips on the web, I believe they are very useful. Check it out. Read Here.

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Familiarize yourself with how your industry is represented online; search for your customers, suppliers and other contacts. Look at their websites and online social media profiles.

Review the audience you communicate with and market to: their interests, preferences and online habits. Which social media and online networking sites do they use? How do they use them and how do they represent themselves in their profiles?

Review your own online presence. Where do you appear in search results? Do you have a presence on the social media and networking sites used by your target market?

Set up a social media profile on relevant sites such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Connect and communicate with your customers by posting blogs, tweets and useful information. Avoid the ‘hard sell’. Your aim is to build relationships.

Review your website. Is it still doing the job you intended? Does it accurately represent your business? Is it fresh, engaging and easy to use? Can it be viewed on any web-connected device?

Consider using online advertising strategies such as pay-per-click advertising. Research which keywords will be most effective in your online adverts and for driving traffic to your website. Read More.