Get Better Reports with Google Data Studio

Businesses run on data. The majority of business decisions rely on solid facts and numbers. In a world where almost all business actions and marketing efforts are digital, reporting is one of the best ways to get these facts and numbers to help business owners and digital marketers analyze their results.

Reporting and gathering data is especially challenging to marketers because it is difficult to find the best starting point with the amount of complex data out there. This is especially true if you are an agency that provides clients with analytical reports using Google Analytics or AdWords data, then creating charts and diagrams to make the data visual for the client. But there must be a way to make reporting better. Right?

Introducing Google Data Studio

Now thanks to Google Data Studio, there is a way to create reports that even your clients will understand easily. The idea behind Data Studio is to make reporting better for small and large businesses by turning boring data into informational, easy-to-understand reports using data visualization.

Google Data Studio is part of the Google Analytics 360 Suite, the paid version of Analytics, and is available in beta even for those that use the basic free version of Google Analytics. Beta-version users can create up to five custom reports and use all editing and sharing capabilities.

How it works?

Google Data Studio allows you to access all the data sources you need to understand how your business performs and to help you make better decisions. It works by syncing with all your Google data – Analytics, AdWords and more, and brings it all to one place easily by providing pre-built data connections. Moreover, you are not limited to using data only from your Google products, but you can even import Facebook data and use it in your reports, as long as you are using a Google Sheet document.  You can use any data you want if you can convert it to Google Sheets.

Once you import the raw data you can easily transform it into meaningful reports and dashboards by choosing from the vast array of calculated metrics and functions. To make things even better, the reports are dynamic, meaning once you update your data sources, it will also update in the reports where it is used. It’s up to you to choose how to present the data – in bar graphs, charts, line graphs and more. You can change the fonts and the colors, and even brand the reports with your logo. The reports and dashboards are shareable, and just like sharing a Google Doc or Sheet, you can grant people viewing access and/or allow them to edit the reports.  

Access and Use

Accessing Google Data Studio begins with logging into your Google Analytics account, here: https://www.google.com/analytics/data-studio which is the free ad limited version of Google Data Studio. As we mentioned above, in the free version you can create up to five custom reports.

After log in, will see the Reports tab in the Home page. Google has put several sample reports, and we suggest you open and explore each one of them to get acquainted with the look and feel of the reports, and learn the types of information you can use for creating your own reports.

The interface Data Studio uses is similar to Google Drive, so it will be familiar if you are a Google Drive user. As with many other Google products, creating a new report is very simple and straightforward – you can choose from the templates shown on top, or just click on the big blue plus-sign button at the bottom right-hand corner and open a blank report.

The templates are a great way to quickly create a report but sometimes include metrics you may not need. Blank reports on the other hand, are a great way to go through the features and options of the Data Studio on your own, and build a report that best fits your specifics.

 

Make the Most of Your Reports

Google Data Studio is a great tool that makes reporting easy and fun (OK, we’ll discuss fun another time). But if you don’t like creating and reading spreadsheets, then you will definitely enjoy Data Studio reports. In case this is the first time you’re using a reporting tool, Google has prepared informative and educational materials. Among the sample reports, there is a “Welcome to Data Studio!” tutorial that will give you a step-by-step walkthrough of Data Studio, as well as a YouTube video to teach you how to connect data sources and create your first report.

And if those still don’t help, and you feel like you are missing out on the good stuff and can’t figure out how to incorporate certain metrics, or how to stack them, feel free to contact us. We’d love to help you out with your digital marketing effort, such as SEO, PPC and social media.

 

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Boost Local SEO Efforts to Improve Reputation, Rankings and Revenue

If you want to market a local business online, begin with search. Investing in, and optimizing for local SEO is a great way to place your business in front of a local target audience, while selling your product to people who will provide the most growth for your company.  But, unlike optimizing for organic search, SEO optimization for local business includes a slightly different set of components. 

So let’s take a look at the main components of local SEO that influence your 3 Rs – reputation, rankings and revenue.

1. Set up a Google Place and Google+ Local Page

Begin your local SEO optimization with opening a Google Business account. This will allow you to set up a free listing on Google Places, appearing on the right hand side of the SERPs anytime someone does a relevant search. By listing on Google Places, you are giving your website the most important backlink you can get – from Google. You can emphasize the impact by creating a Google+ business page and entering your business details there too.

Make sure your business qualifies as local by checking the Google Compliance Guidelines and stick to them to ensure you are not spamming Google.

2. Optimize your Website for Local Rankings

First, have a technically clean website that offers great user experience and regularly audit your site to resolve problems and avoid penalties.

Next, include your location info, along with your brand’s name and keywords in the pages’ title, tags and meta descriptions. Also try to insert your location as a keyword, or a long-tail key phrase in your content. But make these location-insertions sound as natural as possible, especially in places read by people. Avoid keyword stuffing and include your business address and contact phone number in the footer of the site.

Optimize your website in such a way that you are the best in the business’ geo-industry, but don’t forget that you need to optimize for organic search, local search, and conversions. 

3. Make use of Citations Identical with NAP listings

Your presence on other high-quality listing sites such as Yell and Trip Advisor is very important. They provide authority links to your site, encouraging users to visit your site and trust your business.

Next, make sure your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) listing are correct and identical with your citations since they are a key ranking factor, and can improve your ranking especially if they present quality and relevant listing sites. Decide which location information you want included, and use that address on yours, and when you list on third-party sites.

So make sure your citations are correct and up-to-date. Monitor and audit them regularly, fix any inconsistencies, remove duplicates, and don’t forget to look for new geo- and industry-specific citation opportunities.

4. Use the Power of Positive Customer Reviews

We all know the power of reviews, and how strongly they can influence our decisions. Google and other search engines are no different. If your business has numerous five-star reviews, you will have a higher rank with proof of excellent service.

In order to get positive reviews from customers more frequently, start by providing better in-store service and encourage customers to leave reviews on Google and other relevant sites. Monitor your reviews, good and bad ones alike, and respond to them – thank them for their honest comments. Take people’s remarks seriously and try to improve your service. Customers always appreciate the extra effort you are willing to put in for them. Use this to your advantage and earn your positive reviews.

5. Get Valuable Local Links

Just like optimizing for organic search, optimizing for local SEO also requires relevant links, especially from other relevant and authoritative local business websites.  To optimize your links, find broken links and resolve them or disavow them.

Make sure to create new linking opportunities by providing great content, and always be on the lookout for new linking opportunities in editorial contributions, local sponsorships, relevant blogs and online local magazines, etc.

6. Create a Strong Social Presence

Being present on social media is a must nowadays. It’s not up for discussion anymore whether you should create social media presence, but where to create it. Start by identifying which social networks are most relevant to your geo-location and industry. Based on each platform, and your goals, come up with a participation strategy, and try to engage your audience. Talk to your audience, share information and experiences with them, and don’t sell your products and/or services aggressively.

Also, remember to use social media to monitor the social conversations about your brand, and to listen to your customers. Try to be fast in answering customers’ questions, and resolving any problems of conflicts. Social signals do matter!     

7. Watch Your Offline Behavior

As a local business, you must beware of your offline behavior too. Anything that happens offline, can be published online, whether it’s a company activity or in-store experience. Your offline and online experience should be consistent because the consumers that found you online and visited your store expect to see the same branding, messaging, signage, promotional materials, in-store experience, apps, etc. Be consistent in your efforts.

Also, use the power of real-world opportunities for establishing a strong brand presence in the community using traditional marketing methods such as TV, radio, print media, and organization, participation and/or sponsorship of local events and happenings.


Now that we explained how to optimize each part of local SEO, let’s look at how these factors influence your 3 Rs.

Reputation: When you are present on Google Places as a local business, your NAP listings and citations are identical, and you have numerous positive reviews, you prove not to be spammy to search engines and you are relevant to customers. Additionally, when you have a great website that is supported with high-quality links, excellent user experience, and positive social signals, your reputation in the search results is greatly protected.

Rankings: All of the above mentioned factors influence how Google perceives your website. Google evaluates and trusts the validity of your business based on your reputation, your website’s performance, content quality, penalties, and more. And when your on-page efforts are supported with good reviews, listings, citations, and strong social media presence, Google will rank your site higher in the SERPs.

Revenue: By optimizing all these areas, you save yourself from losing customers due to lack of or incorrect information, lack of customer support, bad comments, or plunges in visibility. If you prove to be a highly reputable site that ranks high in the local searches, you will get more online traffic, more store visits, and ultimately, and will enjoy increased profits.

By providing good customer experience, online and offline, instigating positive reviews, getting quality listings and citations, generating great and relevant content, being present on social media, and getting recognized as a high-quality brand, you set yourself for success in the online and offline world.

Never underestimate the power of any component of local SEO, and optimize each and every one of them at the same time, and be consistent in your work. Keep monitoring, tracking and improving your actions and adjusting your strategy. And if you can’t do it alone, we can assist your local business and help you grow and become the best in your area. Give us a call!  

 

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Predictive Content – Why You Should Leverage It as a Marketer

If you’re a marketer, you almost certainly already use analytics every day.  The most common, and most obvious, way to use analytics as a marketer is to understand what brings visitors to your site, and what activities they engage in while they’re there.  However, there is a second use of analytics, and that is to use scoring algorithms to identify potential conversions, and use that data to identify what content will be most effective for the consumer.  This is called predictive content analytics.

What is Predictive Content Analytics?

Predictive content analytics is a relatively new approach to content marketing in which the supply of content is customized to match the demand.  As content marketers, there is a constant struggle to produce content that consumers will actually – well, consume.  The answer in the past has been to influence consumers in order to better shape demand, and the other approach (and typically, the domain of market research) aims to tailor content to more closely match demand.  Predictive content analytics streamlines the tailoring of content, taking it out of the hands of market researchers and into the hands of the content marketer.

Why Use Predictive Content Analytics?

To understand the benefits of Predictive Content Analytics, consider an example situation: you’re a content marketer consistently producing content, but then your traditional analytics show that only 5% or so of the content you produce is responsible for over 80% of your website’s interactions.  In other words, 95% of your content is failing to generate any results at all.  If this sounds familiar to you, there’s a reason: it’s very typical of most content marketing efforts.

So, as a business owner, how do you justify the expense of a content marketing strategy that is 95% useless?  Simple: the content that does produce conversions makes up for the cost of the content that doesn’t.  That’s the power of content marketing.

Imagine if you were able to get a higher percentage of your content to perform with that kind of efficiency.  Imagine you could get all of it to perform that way.  This is the power of predictive content.

How Predictive Content Analytics Works

So, all of this may sound well and good, but how does it work?  When developing a predictive content strategy, it is important to first understand where your current strategy is failing.  Why is it that 95% of your content is failing to draw interactions?  The answer, of course, is because all content is developed, more or less, based on educated guesses as to the habits and interests of consumers.

Using predictive analytics allows you to move out of the area of trial-and-error keyword research and content development, and get right to better results.

Predictive Analytics vs. Descriptive Analytics – Key Differences

In marketing, and content marketing in particular, we rely heavily on hindsight to do what we do.  Predictive analytics, rather than looking in the past, builds out a map of prospect interests right now and iterates those interests into the future.

Predictive content works by collecting data based upon what consumers are actually reading and interacting with right now.  Once that data is compiled, it can be predictively modeled, as long as you have access to predictive content analytics.  Predictive analytics systems take this data, and then take a look at your content repository, along with the content repositories of your competitors.  Then, for every piece of content, the analytics system builds a topic composite, defined by a cloud of keywords extracted from the content, consisting of the primary topics, peripheral topics, and associated topics that give that particular piece of content its unique character.

This allows you to do something you’ve not been able to do with traditional analytics:  look forward rather than backward.  With this composite, you can construct interest profiles on consumption patterns, and as consumers interact more content, those profiles actually evolve.

In this way, by performing simultaneous surveys of industry topics along with profiling their inter-relations and keeping track of interactions as always, the predictive content marketer can track user behavior pertaining to specific topics, and use it to build a projective content strategy.  This allows you to predict – in a measurable way – what content will capture the interest of consumers moving forward in a way that is constantly evolving.

The Brass Tacks of Predictive Content Analytics

So far, our discussion of predictive content analytics, fascinating though it may have been, is a little on the conceptual side.  Let’s talk about some real ways you can leverage predictive content analytics in your own content marketing practices, once you begin compiling interest data for both your own and competitors’ content.

  • Personalized Content Experience: By utilizing predictive content analytics along with simple tracking cookies, you can do something magical: display different content to different readers, based upon that reader’s unique interest profile.
  • Competitor analysis: By considering not only your own content but also competitors’ content in your interest profile, you can get a clearer picture of where those competitors stand in the content supply-demand race.
  • Anticipate Trends: Using predictive analytics, you can keep a closer eye on what industry thought leaders are writing about – allowing you to keep you finger more firmly on the pulse of your industry.

When it comes to crafting a successful marketing strategy, analytics is an important tool: but by allowing hindsight-laden traditional analytics to dictate your practices, you could end up living in – and marketing to – the past.  Predictive content analytics enables you to take a more real-time approach to development, make more accurate and informed decisions, and develop a deeper understanding of your own industry as a whole.

Have you used predictive content analytics? If so, would love to hear your ideas in the comments. If you’re looking for help getting predictive content analytics set up, reach out and our team would be glad to help!  And, remember to follow Visible Factors on Twitter.

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The Most Recent Pay Per Click Trends And Why You Should Follow Them

As marketers engage in Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing, it’s vital that we keep our finger on the proverbial pulse of the latest PPC trends.  While no one can predict the future, we can make some extrapolations based on trends we’re seeing in the present, and base some predictions on new features that have rose to prominence in the last few years.  With more and more businesses utilizing PPC marketing as a means of generating more sales, PPC has become one of the most powerful sources of new technology in all of internet marketing.  Let’s take a look at some of the most recent trends that we believe you should be following.

Audience Targeting

In the past several years, we have seen a new rise of audience targeting technologies, and this is something more and more marketers have been taking advantage of.  Expect to see more personalized ads utilizing audience targeting options – and we expect to see audience targeting integrated directly into Adwords.  Ads in 2017 look to be increasingly targeted by device, age, and behavior, with an emphasis on interest-based targeting.

Overall, the purpose of using audience targeting is to help build stronger relationships before a customer converts.  The transformation of prospect to conversion will be reflected in the way this target advertising sequentially engages them: finding consumers in the top of the funnel, and gradually leading them down to the purchase.  Audience targeting helps marketers develop a strategy that moves beyond last-click attribution, and transcends all levels of the “funnel.”

For these reasons, we think it’s important for marketers to focus on audience targeted just as heavily as we focus on keyword targeting.  All three of these targeting metrics: keyword, location, and audience, will play crucial roles in developing a strong PPC strategy in 2017 and beyond.  If you’re not using audience targeting already, it’s time to start.

Voice Search

The rise of voice search is something that few of us could have predicted in past years, but today there is no question: voice search is a rising trend among consumers and with mobile assistants getting more accurate, with devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home, it’s only going to get larger.  For these reasons, 2017 could be the year we see a shift toward voice search in a big way.  For this reason, we may begin to see analytics on whether users interact via voice or text search in PPC marketing in the near future.  This information will assist marketers in tailoring messaging not only to audiences and to keywords, but also to the search method.  So – how can we make sure we’re ready when voice search takes the spotlight?  Make sure your site’s information is voice search friendly, and keep an eye out for voice advertising news, to make sure you’re ready to be on top of this trend as soon as you can.

Think About Bing

When Bing launched, many of us took a bit of an aloof, even askance view of it. Today, while it certainly isn’t matching market share with Google by any stretch, it is continuing to grow in the marketing realm, and every year sees an increase in Bing ad use, particularly as the platform expands with more extensions – and audience targeting capabilities.  As we’ve mentioned, audience targeting is a trend you should be on top of in your PPC efforts, and that means it’s not the time to forget that Bing ads exist.  The Bing audience is unique, and their lower CPC on keywords makes them an attractive platform for PPC marketing.  Take advantage of these lower costs before Bing grows even more, and you could reap the benefits before your competitors.  We recommend simply copying your AdWords campaign to Bing, and beginning with a small budget – and of course, don’t forget audience targeting.

Respect the Kings

Of course, while we’re paying attention to new approaches like Bing, and voice searches via Amazon Echo, don’t forget that the kings are very much secure in their thrones at least for the time being.  In terms of search, Google won’t be usurped anytime soon, and in the social media world Facebook continues to reign supreme.  Google’s audience continues to grow and their PPC technologies get more and more robust.  Meanwhile, Facebook continues to diversify its own revenues by expanding their ad options. For the PPC marketer, growth in Google and Facebook means higher returns from integrated campaigns using both of these services.

So, what about other social media platforms?  We don’t mean to downplay the ad potential of Twitter and LinkedIn – to the contrary, they are growing as well.  Additionally, since visual content and video is a very effective tool for engaging an audience, don’t neglect the urge to expand into visual platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and YouTube in your PPC strategy.

Optimize and Automate

Finally, we’re seeing a lot of new automation tools in the PPC world, and those should be used to their fullest extent, allowing you to focus on top level strategy for your PPC efforts.  Automation helps to boost ROI, and allows marketers to use their time more wisely.  Using scripts, rules, and the AI already built into computers, in addition to new tools like prediction engines and intelligent bidding to limit overspending, enables us to exercise more control than ever over a wide array of metrics.  Don’t fight automation – use it, and use your time to focus on higher level tasks!

Are you a PPC marketer with insights as to recent trends? If so, would love to hear your ideas in the comments. If you’re looking for help getting you PPC campaigns set up, reach out and our team would be glad to help! As always, remember to follow Visible Factors on Twitter.

 

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How to Design the Perfect Landing Page That Converts

While there are many ways you can attract potential customers to your website, the best way to get the conversion is to create a specialized landing page for each of your offerings. Directing the interested customers to standalone pages, separate from your main website, improves your results.

Simply creating a unique landing page is not enough. The quality of the landing page is also crucial to conversion. The page should be designed keeping your product as well as your consumer in mind. The layout should be simple yet provoking and the message should be clear. Here are some of the ways you can achieve that.

Attention Grabbing Headline

Whether your consumer hasp landed on your page through search engine results or social media ads, you have to keep them interested. A well thought out headline should be a part of your page to grab their attention. It is a good idea to keep the headline short and concise. It must support the link that brought the reader to the landing page in the first place. It must be relevant and should focus on the benefits of the product in an upbeat way.

Persuasive Body

Follow your headline with a persuasive sub-headline. Your sub-headline can be longer and really drive home the point as to why your product makes sense. Do not forget to add a short feature list that gives an idea about the things that set your product apart. A nifty benefit list can further strengthen your case and help persuade the reader to give your product a go. Keep your tone conversational and avoid unnecessary jargon.

The Power of Media (add video into the content)

Pictures and graphics have been shown to have more persuasion power than words when it comes to conversions. Use relevant pictures in an imaginative way without going off the message. If you are selling a tangible product, featuring it front and center makes sense. Graphics and images that enforce your message and service also deliver good results. Ensure the use of high quality and original images to have a better chance of making an impact.

Gather Information

If you need to gather some information from the visitors make sure the form you have placed on your landing page is simple and short. Most consumers do not like filling forms. Detailed information may increase the quality of your lead however entering it in the multiple fields may dissuade the consumers. 3 to 4 form fields are enough to collect information like name, username and email address etc.

The All Important Call-To-Action

Call to action button is what gets you your conversions. Be smart about it. The CTA should be unique, impactful and bold. Make it large and compelling. It must get the prime location on your landing page. Placement matters when it comes to CTA. The flow of the page and the placement of the content should be such that a viewer’s eye is directed towards the CTA. Images of people or lines and arrows can be used to get the intended result.

It is a good idea to get your CTA in colors that are in contrast to the rest of the content. You can also use multiple CTAs if your offer asks for it. However, make sure to visually emphasize your primary CTA. To really make your CTA stand out make sure to avoid generic language. Instead of your CTA saying “Submit”, get it to say something like “Get Your 30 Days Free Trial”.

Earn Their Trust

Security assurance as well as quality assurance can help persuade the user to share information with you and buy your product. Adding security seals can encourage the consumers to share private information vital to conversion. Adding testimonials from satisfied customers preferably with their pictures can help make a case for your service. Make sure the testimonials are specific and highlight the most-prized qualities of your product.

Show Your Authenticity

Adding contact details on the landing page are not necessary, however, they can help. Including a few modes for the consumers to contact your business strengthens their trust in you. When you are asking your consumers for their contact details, it helps if they have your phone number or email address. Giving a link to your website’s contact section can also do the trick. You can also add some social media buttons to further improve your chances.

Uncluttered Page

Whatever features or content components you put on your landing page you need to ensure all of them contribute to the ultimate goal, conversion. If something is not essential for conversion, drop it. Cluttering your page with unnecessary navigation bars as well details about your business goals and philosophy does more harm than good. Keep the copy brief and focus on visuals more than text.

A well-designed landing page can improve your bounce rate and increase the time an average visitor spends on the page, improving your conversion rates. Make your landing page interesting and impactful. Make it simple for the users to click on the CTA button and give your product a chance!

 

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Facebook Ads: Advanced Targeting

Facebook Ads have elevated social media marketing to a new level, integrating advertisements into our Facebook feeds. For regular users, ads may be just another set of boxes appearing on the right side of the News Feed, but for marketers, they are an opportunity to promote their product or service to the desired audience.  Luckily, cool targeting options like location, demographics, interest and behavior let you specify and choose who should see your ads.

Beside the generic options, Facebook lets you dig a bit deeper and connect with people who have a specific relationship with your brand, or find new potential leads based on their traits and those of your current (or ideal) customers. With most of the world on Facebook, you can now reach customers significantly more efficiently.

The hidden Facebook Ads gem you are looking for lives under the “Audience” tab in Ads Manager. We highly recommend you open it. There, you will find the Advanced Facebook Ad targeting which encompasses three possibilities:

Facebook Ad Custom Audience Customer File

 

The Custom Audience – Customer File option reaches your existing customers on Facebook.

  1. Email: To use this option, you need a list of your customers’ email addresses. You can upload a CSV or TXT file, copy-paste the data, or import email addresses directly from MailChimp. Facebook will then cross check those email addresses with that of its users and create a highly specific ad audience.
  2. App activity: To reach people who use your app and who take specific in-app actions, you need to integrate Facebook’s SDK for iOS, Android or Canvas. That way, every time somebody takes a specified action in your app, they will be added to the Custom Audience list. 
  3. Engagement on Facebook: This is the newest Custom Audience option, allowing you to target people who are already engaged with you on Facebook. You can segment people who viewed your Video, opened or completed a form in your previous or existing ads on Facebook, opened your Canvas on Facebook, or interacted with your page.

Custom audience targeting is a great way to strengthen the connection with existing customers. You can use it to send special offers to users who are deeper into the buying cycle, or those who already made a purchase, and now you want to turn them into returning or loyal customers.  

Facebook Ad Lookalike Audience

 

The Lookalike Audience option helps you create a new target audience based on traits and characteristics of your current customers.

To create a lookalike audience, you need to select a source: a custom audience list, Facebook pixel or page fans.

Next, you need to choose the target country and the size of your audience. Note that the size of the audience is based on the total audience in the chosen country. Smaller audience size is more likely to match your source audience, but larger audiences increase the potential reach. Make sure your source list consists of at least 100 people. The more people in your source group, the more accurately Facebook can find people who are similar to them.

There is one more advanced option – creating up to six different lookalike audiences. That way, if you measure conversion value for people in different audiences, you can separate them by different ranges of similarity to the source group, and bid differently for audiences you value differently.  

Lookalike audiences is a great option if you wish to grow the number of new leads, increase brand awareness and exposure, or even tackle new markets.

Facebook Ad Custom Audience From Your Website

 

Creating a custom audience from your website is an excellent way to remarket on Facebook to people who visited your website or linked web pages, who haven’t necessarily completed an action or left their contact information.

To take advantage of this option, you need to create a Facebook pixel to build a custom audience. This way you can focus ad campaigns only on people who are your website visitors.   

 

By creating a custom audience based on website visitors you will be able to:

 

  1. Get people back to your website and complete the purchase
  2. Utilize the custom audience to find new people, similar to your website visitors
  3. Gain additional value from new customer acquisition campaigns by excluding existing customers
  4. Measure and optimize ads for website conversion

 

You will effectively address specific potential customer’s pain points and get them to return to your website again and again, while gaining new customers.

 

Social media marketing is an important part of digital marketing strategy, with 2 million Facebook advertisers as proof that Facebook Ads connect with new and existing customers.  However, it is likely that many are not taking advantage of the advanced targeting options and strategies. Without carefully planning your targeting strategy, you may end up throwing your money away.

Luckily, we are versed in developing and employing a powerful strategy that will grow your business. If you want to grow the number of website visits, raise brand awareness, promote your product or service to new customers and bring the existing ones back to your site to complete a purchase or make a new one, drop us a line and we can help get the most out of Facebook Advertising.

 

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Content Marketing Metrics

Every content marketer wants to be able to measure the results of their campaign. But, very often they believe that they can’t accurately measure the results generated by their content. And the truth is, most content marketers give up after they check numbers of page views or social shares. The scope of metrics, however, goes way beyond that, extending to the fundamental business and its goals.

Let’s take a look at the four categories of content marketing metrics and what they actually mean. Then, you can decide which ones are most significant to you. 

Basic Consumption Metrics

Basic consumption metrics measure brand awareness and web traffic, answering the most fundamental content questions about how your strategy is performing. You get to see how many people viewed and accessed your content, while gaining an overall idea of which pages of your website are most popular and attractive to users.

Basic consumption data can be found in Google Analytics.

  • Users: total number of unique visitors to a particular page on your website
  • Page views: total number of times a particular page on your website is viewed
  • Pages/Sessions: total number of pages a user visits while browsing your website
  • Average time on page: average time spent on one page, for example a blog post  
  • Downloads: total number of times users downloaded your content
  • Retention metrics: number of returning visitors to your site and specific content pieces  
  • Bounce rate: percentage of people that leave a page of your website without viewing other pages
  • Email open rate: total number of opened emails shows how many people are interested to read your email content

The resulting numbers show which pages are attractive and unattractive to let you see which campaigns were effective, while providing insight into how you can drive people to your website

Sharing and Engagement Metrics

These metrics measure brand awareness and user engagement, showing you how your audience interacts and engages with your content. You will gain a clearer understanding about what types of content are more interesting to your audience and inspire interaction.  But keep in mind that sharing metrics measure publicity, not actual competitiveness of your content.

Some data can be found in Google Analytics, the social networks you use, as well as other free and paid tools.

  • Likes, tweets, +1s, pins: number of (positive) social reactions to the content you share on social media   
  • Shares: number of shares via social media but can also be analyzed as shares depending on type and length
  • Forwards: number of content forwards from one user to another, via email or direct messaging
  • Referral links and inbound links: number of link backs, usually to your website content
  • Comments: how many people commented on your social media posts

Social metrics are useful for determining what types of content you need to create to keep your audience engaged with your brand, and which to avoid. Also, they might reveal opportunities for future content campaigns.

 

Lead Generation

Lead generation and lead nurturing metrics track how your content is performing and whether it is fulfilling its purpose – converting visitors into leads that your sales team can take over, and turn into customers.

Google Analytics, as well as other tracking or CRM software can help you gather the necessary data.     

  • CTR click-through rate: measures how many clicks your calls-to-action- received
  • Form completions and downloads: total number of people who completed a form to download content
  • Email subscriptions: total number of email subscribers, old and new
  • Blog subscriptions: total number of people committed to reading your blog
  • Blog comments: number of people who interacted with your brand and need more information about a product or service
  • Total lead attribution: tracking where your leads are coming from
  • Conversion rate: total number of visitors who became leads

This group of metrics will inform you about content performance and help you identify which efforts push visitors further down the sales funnel, and which push them away. For example, you can identify if the copy or calls-to-action need improving, or perhaps you need to change the incentive.

Sales

Sales metrics are pretty obvious. You get to see how many people transitioned from visitors, leads, and to finally customers. They demonstrate whether your content marketing efforts were successful and profitable for the business. But to be able to measure the impact of content marketing, you need to create something trackable.

Typically, sales are measured though CRM systems, ecommerce systems, and other analytics software.

  • Online sales: number of online sales resulting from online marketing campaigns
  • Offline sales: number of offline sales supported by your overall content efforts
  • Manual reporting: number of unofficial sales deals made with future customers
  • Customer retention: number of returning customers that stay loyal to your brand due to special content efforts directed towards them
  • ROI – return on investment shows the profit generated as a result of your content marketing efforts

Sales metrics are an excellent way to quantify your content marketing results. They will express your overall content performance in terms of closed sales and generated profit, and show you how to proceed in order to gain more customers.

Each metric group compliments each other while providing valuable insight.  All metrics combined, when gathered systematically and analyzed carefully, will help you realize which campaigns work. You will find the types of content that work best, what customers need to know to make a purchase, and much more. Just follow the data, and make adjustments accordingly.

 

We believe that content marketing is part of a larger integrated marketing approach, and we aim to create content that attracts new audiences, provides visibility for your brand, and retains customers. Let us help you create your next big content marketing campaign. Contact us today and start measuring success right away!

 

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Google AdWords: A Guide to Finding High-value Keywords within Campaigns

Your work is only just beginning after you launch your campaign.  To get the ROI you need from your campaign, it is crucial to determine the strongest keywords within your AdWords campaign as soon as you have actionable data. The only way to keep your campaign strong enough to meet your goals is to regroup and analyze the performance of your keywords. This can seem daunting, especially if it is your first AdWords campaign. Fortunately, there are several simple ways to analyze and pin down high-value keywords within your campaign without relying on any expensive tools or secret tricks.

1. Pay attention to your click-through rate

If your CTR is low, your keyword selection and corresponding copy isn’t inviting clicks. This could be from poorly written ads, or mismatched keyword grouping. Your bid price goes up if you mismatch keywords with ads, further diminishing your ROI, so pay attention.

An easy way to boost your CTR and improve your ads readability is to use the {keyword} variable to generate a headline or sub headline for your ad based on the related search. To utilize this variable properly, you also need to choose a keyword for Google to fall back on if someone searches for a word or phrase that exceeds the ad text character limitations. The code is then {keyword:replacement text}. If you don’t choose a proper keyword that matches up with the text, it can confuse your audience.

Using Google’s keyword matching system is an important way to make your keywords work harder and improve your click-through rate. The fact is your audience is more likely to click on ads that reference their specific search query.

Utilizing Google’s keyword matching system, you can control how Google chooses whether or not to display them on a certain page of results. Search for bids on keywords with these variations to refine how your keywords target your audience:

Keyword = broad match

[Keyword] = exact match

“keyword” = phrase match

Eliminate any quote when you enter your keyword to match it as broad a search as possible. Add the square brackets, and Google will match your keyword to a search of the exact phrase.  Use quotes, and Google will match the words to the specific sequence they are entered. This further refines when your ad appears, further increasing the potential for a higher click through rate. Of course, there is no reason no bid on all three varieties to improve your results!

 

2. Experiment with keyword grouping

How many ad groups have you created? Your PPC campaign’s success hinges on connecting your target audience with the correct ad. If you are only showing one ad regardless of the keyword entered into Google then you are setting yourself up for failure. This is a major reason for low click-through rates. Take the time to create different ads based on your keyword groups. Make sure they make sense! And make sure they match.

If you are using too many keywords, usually over 20, you could be aiming too broadly with your keywords. Create new ad groups and refocus your keywords and their corresponding ads.

Also as important, is creating more than one ad for your group of keywords. Creating two or three ads is a great way to test your copy and see which ad is sharpest. This is also a great way to test how dynamic your keywords are, and what kind of language works best for them.

3. Pay attention to your ROI

Are your keyword purchases putting the right ads in front of the right crowd and creating conversions? If not, your keyword choices are either too broad or too specific.

Usually, it is the broader, short tail keywords that are problematic. They are usually high cost and high risk because they appeal to a broad audience. Short tail keywords do not necessarily create more conversions because they lack actionable phrasing. Stick with specific phrases and similar keywords. These long tail keywords are better for your ROI, generally being cheaper and stronger at connecting your target audience and creating conversions.

4. Compare your conversion rate to your landing page

If your conversion rates are low, your keywords and your landing page might not be meshing. It’s also possible that your keyword usage on the landing page or your call to action is weak. Sometimes all the keyword strategy in the world can’t make up for a dud of a landing page.

Start by tightening up your copy by keeping things relatable. Make sure to buy words that match the audience’s intent on their journey from the search, to your ad, to your landing page. Take a look at what your competitors are doing.  Compare your keyword choices with the choices of your competitors. How do they stack up? How does your copy and its use of keywords stack up? Are your keyword choices matching the ads you’re writing?

5. Use conversion tracking code to see which keywords are working and where

Google will supply any advertisers with a conversion tracking code that can be placed into certain parts of your site code to monitor whether your click-throughs are creating the desired effect of your campaign. You must place the code after the point on the page you want your audience to reach. This is crucial so you can accuratly track the visitors who reached your call to action or email sign up list, not just visitors to the page. Your keywords and their integration into the copy will have a large role in creating conversions while serving as a handy tool for gathering data to manage your keyword selection and usage.

 

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All you Need to Know about Google RankBrain

Google RankBrain: What it is and Why it is important

Over a year ago, in October 2015, Google announced they are going to use machine learning techniques of artificial intelligence in research. The topic raised a lot of questions and led to confusion about what Google RankBrain is, what it means for search marketing, and what brands should do about it. Today, a year and a half later after the dust settled, we learned (everything) we could and decided to share that knowledge with you.  We intend to answer all remaining questions you might have and eliminate all uncertainties.  

What is RankBrain?

First and foremost, let’s settle this dilemma: RankBrain is NOT an ‘update’ to the search algorithm. In fact, it is the third most useful search ranking signal, right after content and links. The actual list includes 200 different ranking factors. So what actually is RankBrain? Google RankBrain is a machine learning AI (artificial intelligence) system used to assist the processing of Google search queries.   

How Does RankBrain Work?

Google’s main goal is to provide its users with the most useful and relevant results for each query entered. In order to complete that goal, Google has to understand the search queries and to be able to match them with the appropriate content, even when the words of the search query are very different. In the past, Google’s algorithm was focused on matching user searches to the same webpage wording. Now, Google’s decided to take a slightly more sophisticated approach in trying to understand that actual context and search intent, and use it to deliver improved search results. That is why Google created RankBrain.  

RankBrain’s main purpose, according to Google, is to interpret queries that are very complex or just haven’t been seen before. Therefore, it converts the innumerable search words and keywords from Google Search, into quantitative figures that machines can understand and decipher. Instead of being pre-programmed and scripted, by using mathematical processes called vectors, plus additional advanced semantic processes, RankBrain learns people’s search patterns inference and then applies those interpretations to future search results.

Simply put, RankBrain is a system that aims to better understand search queries and give them meaning by identifying the real “user intent” and returning the best and most fitting results to the user.

Why is RankBrain important?

There are more than two trillion searches entered in Google yearly. And most of those searches are not limited to short phrases or a couple of words, but rather use full sentences such as, “What’s the best place to eat pizza in Napoli?  These searches cannot be effectively processed with an ordinary search algorithm. That’s why Google created RankBrain – a technology that studies and learns from the study – to learn from the search query and give more comprehensive results.  RankBrain avoids simply matching all words in the query and returning exact or filtering the nearest results related to the query.

At first, RankBrain processed around 15% of the searches, but now it is used to help with every search query.  Besides being able to process queries better and more accurately than before, there are several other ways in which RankBrain impacts search engines. In addition to faster query processing and increased optimization for search results, RankBrain is more relevant and user-friendly.  RankBrain is effective by learning from searches and drawing from offline phrases to understand more complex and long-tail keywords. 

How Does RankBrain Influence SEO?

It is well known that keywords play a crucial role in your website’s SEO, especially when you are creating content. So far, Google’s algorithm was able to identify the keywords in the page content and use them as a ranking factor. Now, Google has learned to identify great content, and keywords alone are not enough to get you high ranking. With RankBrain as part of the ranking equation, great content is more important than ever, and if you don’t provide great user experience, you lower your changes of ranking success.

The search ranking algorithm has also undergone major changes with the emergence of RankBrain. Before RankBrain, the algorithm produced constant search rankings until the next update. Now, we see constant updates of the ranking algorithm with fluctuating results to ensure better accuracy. Therefore, website owners, SEO consultants and content creators need to increase their versatility in content creation and keyword choice.

RankBrain employs AI technology to understand the user’s search intent and to determine what the user really wants. So instead of creating pages focused on a single keyword, it’s better to create content that targets the main keyword or phrase with related keywords and synonyms.

 

It is safe to conclude that RankBrain is changing the search landscape while helping users find what they are looking for easier and faster. From an SEO perspective, we can say that RankBrain is not something you can specifically optimize for in terms of ranking factors. RankBrain is a little bit different. According to Gary Illyes from Google, the only way to optimize your website for RankBrain is to simply optimize for natural language. And that might be a good thing because website owners will create web pages optimized for people, not machines, yielding quality results for users.

 

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5 Tips To Boost Programmatic Display Advertising Performance

The process around online advertising has changed a lot over the last decade. Gone are the days of IOs and tedious back-and-forth that came with old school ad buying and programmatic advertising has now become the most dominant form of display advertising. Ad placement is guided by artificial intelligence, real-time bidding, and automated decision-making when purchasing ad space online. Someone can use these to target a specific audience, and leveraging their knowledge of programmatic advertising can be helpful when it comes to managing an online marketing strategy. In 2016, eMarketer had projected digital display ad spending to exceed $22 billion, up from $10 billion in 2014, just showing how important it has become. Here are some tips to get you started to best utilize your data, and find the best strategies to reach your target audience. 

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