By Star Bradshaw, VP of Conversion Rate Optimization
Part 1 of 2
Have you ever wondered exactly what people are up to on your site? If you have contemplated this, it was likely triggered by the desire to understand why more visitors weren’t responding to your website. In other words, you’ve probably asked, “Why isn’t my site driving more contacts, leads, subscriptions or sales?”
Businesses grapple with this question routinely. (If they’re smart, they do.) Unfortunately, when frustrated site owners ponder what people are doing on their website, the answer is all too often: They are leaving. Fortunately, there are lots of ways you can gain insights on these fleeting visitors in order to strategically improve your website, thereby increasing their engagement and response.
To begin to better understand visitor behavior, take a look at some key metrics in your analytics. Indicators of unsatisfied visitors can be found in certain engagement and conversion metrics. Read more…
Special thanks to Dana Udwin, SEO Manager, for contributing heavily to this article.
Any good digital marketer will spend a lot of time with a company’s web analytics data. The amount of information contained there can be utterly overwhelming, but it’s worth the time to dig in and find the treasure trove of gold nuggets that can help guide digital marketing strategy and generate better results.
We like to delve into Top Performing Keywords, Underperforming Keywords and Top Performing Pages for our clients. Caveat: this assumes that you’ve done the research to determine which keywords to target, and that the website is properly optimized. It also assumes that your web analytics software has been installed correctly and is tracking properly (otherwise, all bets are off!).
First, look at Top Performing Keywords, Read more…
While the world is moving toward more transparency and more data availability, Google recently backtracked on this front. In a move unnoticed by most, Google is now blocking organic keyword data from being captured for searchers who are logged into
Google or searching on Google’s secure (https) site. This means that when marketers look at their web analytics, keywords used by these searchers are not displayed, but are lumped together under “(not provided).”
Why should you care? Because taking away this data makes it harder for marketers to measure the performance of their search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. When we know which keywords drive traffic – and more importantly, conversions – we can invest more of our time and effort into those keywords rather than less valuable ones. We can ensure that landing pages are directly relevant to the keyword that brought the searcher to that page. In general, we can continue to hone our efforts and maximize our results.
Google recently announced a significant change in how it handles search privacy. It has begun encrypting search queries for anyone who is signed in to
a Google account, such as Gmail.
This means that when you are signed in and run a search on www.google.com, you will be automatically redirected to https://www.google.com. So the terms you search on and the search results page will be encrypted.
Google explains the reason for this change:
As search becomes an increasingly customized experience, we recognize the growing importance of protecting the personalized search results we deliver. As a result, we’re enhancing our default search experience for signed-in users.
Let’s say you set a goal of doubling the number of leads your website generates. Sounds ambitious – how are you going to get there? There are two very different approaches:
Double the amount of traffic coming to your website, or
Double the conversion rate (so that twice as many visitors become leads).
It’s generally easier to do the latter than the former. Doubling website traffic – assuming you’re not starting from zero – can be quite daunting. As well as potentially expensive. But often, doubling your conversion rate is attainable (again, depending where you’re starting from). And…they don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Let’s look at a couple of examples. Read more…
If your website serves a lead generation purpose, you should have a rough idea of what an average lead is worth to you. This information can help you and your marketing agencies ensure they’re not overspending to generate online leads. There are two pieces of information you need to know in order to figure out the average value of a lead. They are:
The average percentage of leads that close and become paying customers, and
The average value of a customer. Note that this latter figure can be looked at two ways: Read more…
funniest ways to get a girl back – Stacy Williams, founder and president of Prominent Placement Inc, led a webinar for Online Marketing Connect’s Search Engine Marketing Focus Week in early May. This is the
sixth post in a six-part series based on her webinar about the use of search engine marketing to pull B2B buyers through the sales funnel. To view the slides from Stacy’s presentation, click <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/stacywms/pulling-b2b-buyers-through-the-funne
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As the previous post stated, measurability is a key benefit of online marketing. Historically, there’s been a gap between site analytics and a company’s CRM database. We could collect data on a searcher’s interaction with the site, and companies could collect data on leads and customers and maintain it in their CRM software (such as Salesforce), but there was no way to connect the two. But technology has improved, as it always does, and now there is much more continuity between these two sets of data. Read more…
Stacy Williams, founder and president of Prominent Placement Inc, led a webinar for Online Marketing Connect’s Search Engine Marketing Focus Week in early May. This is the fifth post in a six-part series based on her webinar about the use of search engine marketing to pull B2B buyers through the sales funnel. To view the slides from Stacy’s presentation, click here.
One of the key benefits of all forms of online marketing is measurability. Every customer click and interaction can be recorded, and the resulting data can be sorted and analyzed in any number of combinations. Let’s explore some nuances of analytics in B2B marketing.
Analytics – Latent Conversions
B2B purchasing is notoriously slow. A previous post in this series mentioned that it also usually involves multiple people, from the employee who first feels the need to the company purchasing manager. This means that most B2B conversions are latent conversions; the buyer doesn’t convert on the first visit to your site, but after multiple visits over a prolonged period of time. Tracking all this can be complex.
Let’s say the buyer first finds your site through a broad search. He then sends an email about it to his boss, who clicks on a direct link in the email to view your site. With his boss’s approval, our buyer now runs a search on your company name to find the site again and make the purchase. Which of these digital touches gets the credit for this conversion? Read more…
Stacy Williams was recently asked to speak to a group of business owners about search engine marketing. This is the final post of a four-part series based on her presentation about the most important things you need to know about search marketing t
oday. We’ll cover tips on PPC and Mobile and Local Search.
14. Being found in local/maps/places results is critical
A Google Places verified address ranks prominently and the accompanying map occupies a lot of valuable space in the search engine results pages. Listing business locations is critical, even if it’s just an office with no business interaction. Sometimes the verification of a business address can be tricky but it’s well worth the effort!
15. Consider running PPC on mobile devices
More and more consumers are using their smart phones and tablets for search. They are in such high demand that Morgan Stanley estimates global unit shipments of smartphones and tablets to surpass shipments of notebook and desktop PCs this year! AdWords makes this easy to implement. In the Network and Devices tab you can select the types of mobile devices to target, or you can target by the mobile carrier. If iPhone users with AT&T are a valuable segment, you can target them specifically and avoid wasting money on less profitable segments.
I’ve been watching Yahoo’s slow decline for about a decade now. A recent article on ClickZ by Sage Lewis put a lot of my feelings into words (read “Dear Yahoo, I Hate You“). Sage does a great job of listing all the Yahoo properties that have been closed down (including AltaVista, AllTheWeb.com, GeoCities and more), as well as recapping many of the layoffs.
Sage ends by begging Yahoo not to close Flickr, to which I wholeheartedly agree. And let me add Yahoo Web Analytics to that list as well. We started using this product back in 2004 when it was an independent company called IndexTools. It was an outstanding product at that time – it was affordable and offered functionality that many other web analytics software didn’t offer (and still don’t). Once Yahoo bought IndexTools and made it free of charge…the product changed from a revenue producer to a cost center, and both the quality of the product and the customer support deteriorated over time. Attention, Yahoo: we’d gladly pay to get the “old” IndexTools back!
In any case, Yahoo’s decline is sad not only because of all its early promise, and all the wonderful assets it has had over the years, but because it’s a competitor that Google desperately needs. At least we can look to Facebook and other social media sites to challenge Google and try to keep it from becoming a total monopoly – it’s just too bad that no search engine has been able to do so successfully.