September 14, 2014 by
If you can’t measure it, you can’t mange it. - Peter Drucker
- 78% of CMOs believe marketing will undergo radical change over the next 5 years
- Close to half are preparing for digital to grow to 75% of marketing budgets
- 42% believe analytics will be a core competency of marketing (source: Accenture Interactive CMO Study)
These statistics say there are big changes in marketing coming. But we live in budget cutting times, and marketing budgets are among the first to get cut. Why? When non-marketing executives take a hard look at the numbers, they often can’t see a direct link to revenue.
The secret is having – and correctly using – the right measurements.
Here are 12 data driven measurements every marketer should know.
- KEYWORDS: 90% of consumer buying decisions begin on the internet according to Forrester Research. The journey most often begins with a consumer typing their unmet need into the query box of a search engine. 54% find websites through natural search engines results says Forrester. Do you know keywords you want for your company? If you don’t, how do you expect to attract the people who are looking for what you have to offer?
- LINKS (HYPERLINKS): The best way to establish authority and improve search visibility is to have reciprocal links with other authorities in your area. Do you know how many inbound links there are to your website and who they are? You should. Where once low-quality tactics worked for a long time, link building has undergone significant changes in recent years due largely to recent Google changes that discredit dark hat tactics. Now, blogs, guest blogging and social media represent authentic ways to build links and relationships that are mutually beneficial to businesses.
- SEARCH ENGINE RESULTS PAGE (SERP): 85% of people click on a website listing on the organics side of a search engine page; 53% click on the website that is listed first. Within the top five listing, 88% of the clicks are made according to Search Engine Watch. This means, if you want people to come to your wevsite, it’s important to know your Search Engine Rank Page for your most important keywords.
- COST PER CLICK (CPC): If you can’t get to a top rank with your top keywords, it’s better to pay for a top rank than believe search engines are going to drive visitors to your site anytime soon. Paid Search ads should be considered. They are bought on a cost per click basis. Paid search operates like an auction where the buyer sets the price, budget and time frame. CPC’s also provide a valuable benchmark on the value of keywords. Based on the price, they show what others are willing to pay for them.
- CLICK THROUGH RATE (CTR): Is the percentage of people who viewed a page that contained your ad and also clicked on the ad. This is calculated by dividing the total number of clicks by the total number of ad impressions. CTR is an important metric to measure performance and whether the ad is relevant. Google Adwords says the average CTR is 2% for ad placements on Google.
- UNIQUE VISITORS (USERS): Is the number of distinct individuals visiting a website during a given period, regardless of how often they visits. It is a key metric for measurement if your web business is increasing its visibility and customer base.
- BOUNCE RATE: is the percentage of visits where the visitor view a single page and left. Bounce Rate is considered a key measurement of website relevance. Because, generally speaking, if the site is relevant, the visitor will view more the one page. As Avinash Kaushik, Analytics Evangelist at Google says, a high bounce rate generally reflects visitors who “came, puked, and then left”. To reduce Bounce Rate, here are 20 Things to Consider from Search Engine Watch.
- TRAFFIC SOURCES: Every visit to a web site has an origin, or source. There are three main categories: 1) Search Engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing – either organic or paid, 2) Another Web Page (Facebook, Twitter, another website) or 3) Direct (type a website url in the browser). This show how your audience finds your business and a very valuable measurement for tracking your time and investment into driving website traffic.
- KEY CONTENT (PAGES): Once a visitor gets to your website, what pages are most viewed? Key Content or Top Pages tells what is their hierarchy of needs from your business.
- CONVERSION RATE: What is the action(s) you want visitors to take when they get to your website? Conversion Rate is the percent of visitors that take the action you want. If you sell products or service from your site, it means the percent who buy. But, if you don’t (and most websites don’t), it means the percent who may subscribe to an email, register for a trial offer or download information. Any action or event that indicates they are a step closer to being a customer. In fact, a business may have multiple conversion rates. Macro Conversions are primary conversions like completing an order for an e-commerce site or filling out a contact form for a lead generation site. Micro Conversions are the usual actions that are precursors. They may include signing up for an email newsletter or downloading a PDF.
- AVERAGE ORDER VALUE: If you sell a product or service on your website, a key means for maximizing revenue is to know your Average Shopper Value. The calculation is: Revenue/Number of Transactions = Average Order Value. If you know this measurements, you can determine what you need to do to get customers to buy more (Free shipping on orders over $75; Buy 2, get 1 Free, Deal of the Day).
- WORD OF MOUTH: The number of positive Reviews, Rating, Facebook Likes, Tweeter Follower, Shares, Comments and YouTube Views can have a relationship to website traffic which has a relationship to revenue. People like to do business with people they know. If your business is generating word of mouth, potential customers are going to want to get to know you through your website.
Do you think these are data driven measurements every marketer should know? Any there others that you recommend?
May 19, 2014 by
- 59% of marketers agree SEO has the biggest effect on lead generation
- 22% say social media
- 20% say pay per click (source: SiteProNews)
The numbers imply these channels aren’t working together. That’s a mistake.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is is the process of getting website traffic from “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” listings on search engines. Social Media Marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention on social media sites in the same way. They both work from traffic that comes from earned media.
If you were to hire a resource to help with SEO or social media, most people think to choose either an SEO specialist or a Social Media agency because the two are different marketing disciplines. That’s an even bigger mistake.
Recent Google algorithm changes underscore how SEO and social media are inextricably linked. Panda is a Google algorithm filter aimed at fighting low quality content; Penguin is one aimed at fighting web spam. Google has concluded the best match for a keyword is the one that is focused and other people follow.
If you don’t think SEO and social media work together, like peanut butter and jelly, here are 25 reasons they do.
- 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine (source: Search Engine Journal)
- 82% of internet users use search (source: Search Engine Joural)
- 81% of businesses consider their blogs to be an important asset to their businesses (source: Search Engine Journal)
- 74% of consumers use a Facebook brand page as the desired format for following a brand for future engagement (source: GroupM and comScore)
- 73% of online adults use a social networking site; 42% use multiple social networking sites (source: Pew Research)
- 70-80% of web users ignore the paid advertising and look down the page for the first organic search result (source: PPC.org)
- 64% of consumers are likely to follow a brand (source GroupM and comScore)
- 50% of consumers use a combination of search and social media to make purchase decisions (source: Inc)
- 46% of consumers who use social media in the purchase pathway are driven to use search to expand their knowledge about their likely purchase (source: GroupM and comScore)
- 41% of customers are winning customers using social media (source: Search Engine Journal)
- 41% more likely to recommend a brand to a friend if you “Like” the brand on Facebook (source: WOMMA)
- 40 percent of consumers who use search in their path to purchase are motivated to use social media to further their decision making process (source: GroupM and comScore)
- 31% use social media during the purchase process to get other people’s opinions (GroupM and comScore)
- 30% say they use social media to eliminate brands from contention (source: Octagon)
- 28% of consumers say social media plays a valuable role in helping them become aware of new brands and products; 30% say it helps them eliminate brands from consideration (source: GroupM and comScore)
- 28% say social media sites e.g. YouTube, and Facebook help them learn more about brands and product (source: Octagon)
- 28% more likely someone will continue to use a brand if they “Like” the brand on Facebook (source: WOMMA)
- 25% of Google searches come from YouTube in 2013; up from 17% in 2007 (source: comScore)
- #1, #2 and #3 largest web destinations are Google, Facebook and YouTube, respectively (source: Alexa)
- At a ratio of 2-to-1, consumers cite quality and depth of information as reason they use search and social media together (source: Octagon)
- 2nd largest search engine is YouTube (source: comScore)
- If you provide the Google+ id while guest posting on a blog, you establish author rank and Google gives you credit for writing the article
- Google+ has the highest correlated social factor for SEO ranking (source: HubSpot)
- In 2010, Google and Bing admitted to also rank website by how sociable they are (source: PPC.org)
Do these reasons convince you SEO and social media work together like peanut butter and jelly? Do you believe agencies now have to be experts in both?
March 08, 2014 by
Links (also referred to as inbound links and backlinks) are hyperlinks from another web page that contains a reference to your website. It points people to your business.
Links are fundamental to being found on the internet. They prove “authority.” They are a primary criteria to search engines in determining page rank.
Links demonstrate truths about business: People like to do business with people they know. What you say about yourself is not as important as what others say about you.
To see who links to your site, there are a number of online tools.
Like anything that has value, people try to game the system. Spammers have been known to load the back end of their websites with back links. Recent search algorithm have reportedly cracked down and take into account those who genuinely earn links and discredit ones who try to trick the search engines.
How do you use links so they have enduring value? Here are 20 essential tips on link building for SEO and your bottom link.
- BEGIN BY CREATING A LIST OF HIGH VALUE LINKS: A simple way to begin is to search keywords that matter for your business; Note the websites that appears in top positions.
- CONDUCT AN INTERVIEW ON YOUR WEBSITE: An interview with a thought leader in your industry is likely to attract attention. It’s also likely to be shared by others in your field creating links with relevant sites.
- GUEST BLOG: When you write a blog for other sites in your category, you receive a link as the author. For example, I write blogs for colleagues: Mark Schaefer and his Grow blog, Mike Moran on Biznology and Rutgers CMD as part of their MBA faculty where we all teach.
- REVERSE GUEST BLOG: Ask others in your field if they would write blogs for you in return. This taps into all of their links and points them to your site.
- PARTICIPATE ON NETWORKS THAT SHARE CONTENT: Put your slideshows on Slideshare, or videos on Youtube—to promote your site’s linkable assets to sites that have big “authority.”
- GET MORE SHARES FROM GOOGLE+: Google+ posts pass link equity (because the links within Google+ posts are followed). This means the more your Google+ posts are being shared within their social platform, the more high-value links you are able to get
- REPUBLISH VIRAL CONTENT RELATED TO YOUR NICHE: Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are also good places to go for content you can link from your site and expect it to be shared. Reposting is always ethical if you’re giving attribution to the original source.
- FIND QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR INDUSTRY AND ANSWER THEM: Participate in already existing discussions related to your content (forum threads, Q&As, other blogs, and online communities like Facebook groups and LinkedIn groups). Use your content as a reference to your contributions on these discussions.
- GIVE OUTBOUND LINKS TO GET INBOUND LINKS: Get in the practice of using links in your content. Often, you’ll finds those you mention in your content will offer a shout out to your business from their content.
- LEARN FROM COMPETITORS’ LINKS: Use any of the services mentioned above; use them to track links for competitive sites. You’ll get idea on other links to consider.
- CREATE CASE STUDIES ABOUT RESULTS FOR CLIENTS: If you make your clients look good in case studies about their business, they’ll be linking to your site. Referrals from clients are great business builders.
- SPEAK AT AN EVENT. Events usually give their speakers and sponsors great website publicity. You can also negotiate inbound links into your terms to be sure your time and resources yield beneficial inbound links.
- INCORPORATE “TWEET THIS” INTO YOUR CONTENT. Get inbound links by getting your content out to the masses. Including “Tweet This” links into “tweetable” content and get people sharing your content socially more often.
- PUT SOCIAL WIDGETS INTO YOUR CONTENT: Just like “Tweet This” links get your content out there, so do social sharing buttons and widgets. Put them into content like case studies, ebooks, and blog posts.
- REVIEW BOOKS, PRODUCTS AND SERVICES IN YOUR FIELD: Invite other to share their reviews and ratings and build links as well as industry authority.
- CHECK FOR BROKEN LINKS: It’s frustrating if people are linking to your site but it is to a page that is not accessible. So check for “broken” links. Google offers a browser plug-in for Chrome that does this called Link Checker.
- REGISTER IN DIRECTORIES FOR YOUR FIELD: There are reliable directories for any field that can list your business as a credible resource. As an example, this site in included in the Alltop directory of top blogs for digital and social media marketing.
- BE DISRUPTIVE: Publish articles that are likely to create create controversy and a dialogue. Mark Schaefer does this well and is doing it now with “Content Shock.”
- CROWDSOURCE IDEAS: Whether it’s a survey, request or forum, ask people for their input, ideas and opinions. It’s always a great way to create link value. It’s not only a good to elevate your “authority” in a particular field but to generate leads.
- PRODUCE VALUABLE CONTENT ON A REGULAR BASIS: Publishing valuable, useful, relevant, helpful content on a regular basis is the most reliable and fastest strategy there is to earn links back to your website. Content isn’t just king, it’s good business.
Do you think these link building strategies would build your SEO and business? Will you use any of them to build your bottom line?
January 27, 2014 by
If your brand has a website, more people are likely to come to it from search engines than anyplace else according to Forrester.
That means Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to secure a high-ranking placement in the search results pages, is as essential means of marketing for anybody doing business on the internet.
Is SEO a science? Or an art? Science is facts or truths systematically arranged showing the operation of general laws. Art is the conscious use of skill and creative imagination.
Here are 11 reasons SEO is a science; 15 reasons it’s an art.
SEO is a science because it operates according to mathematical laws that are statistically reliable and predictive of human behavior.
- #1 reason people come to a website is: It showed up on a search engine page when they were looking for something (source: Forrester)
- 80% of people click on a website that is on the natural or organic side of the search engine page (source: Search Engine Watch)
- 35% click through to the website that is in the #1 position (source: SEO Book)
- 90% click through on a website that is on the 1st page (source: Search Engine Watch)
- Algorithms that comprise hundreds of criteria determine how websites rise or fall in rank for specific keywords
- Volume of search for any keyword and key phrase can be easily known with tools the the Google Keyword Planner and Wordtracker.
- Demand for those keywords, if is increasing or decreasing over time, is measurable through Google Trends. So, you can even predict the value both now and in the future.
- Search rank of your domain or your competitors’ can be tracked for any keyword or key phrase to help understand the rise or fall in rank by Ispionage or Rank Checker.
- Number of links that increase or decrease your authority in a particular area and also influences search rank can be found through Majestic SEO or Alexa.
- Value of the links, whether they are high or low value authority, can be determined by SEO Majestic and Marketing Grader.
- Machines, or search bots, that do the searches on Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines are programmed to even identify the underlying meanings behind by keywords to returns the most meaningful results. The is called Semantic Search; it is predicted to play a more important role with the Google “Hummingbird” algorithm.
SEO is an art because mathematical models don’t establish business goals, know why your audience buys your product or how to convince them. You do.
- Search bot don’t buy your product; people do.
- It is impossible to model an algorithm on the needs of human being.
- Machines can’t study your niche, know your audience’s Internet surfing habit or their shopping behavior.
- Keyword research takes creativity to know what is best for your audience and where there is an opportunity.
- People read good content before the read good keywords.
- A top rank doesn’t mean people take the action you want unless you’re clear with them on your website.
- Good, relevant, quality content is what readers (and algorithms) want. If you focus on this, search visibility follows.
- SEO is thinking about how marketing can encompass social, graphic design, link building, content generation, and PR to drive toward a common goal.
- SEO and marketing is creating social buzz (especially with Google+).
- High value links have to be placed where they are going to be most relevant and cause the most desirable actions
- Keywords that flow them seamlessly into your copy are more convincing.
- Machines are incapable of storytelling
- Titles that convince people have clarity, creativity and imagination. The right keywords and key phrases just happen to be in them.
- If you view SEO as a byproduct of good content, high search rank generally follows.
- SEO can’t make your business a success, only you can.
This post comes out of a dialogue from Hollis Thomases, Augustine Fou, Mike Moran and Mark Schaefer which was inspiring and worth building upon.
What do you think SEO is more of: science or art?
October 14, 2013 by
Keywords are the currency of the internet. Most people find a website by first typing keywords in the query box of a search engine. This information is telling for words that should be on your site; it is rich with insights about the unmet needs of your audience; it is the foundation for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Google Analytics is the most widely used tool for understanding consumer behavior on a website. It is rich with insights. It is the GPS for a site but keywords are no longer one of the things Google Analytics gives.
Google has always [not provided] some keywords but it is now encrypting all keyword search activity — except for clicks on Google ads. Google says this has been done to provide “extra protection” for searchers, and the company may be aiming to block NSA spying activity. Possibly, it’s a move to increase ad sales. Or both according to Search Engine Land.
He that giveth can taketh away. Google gave us Google Analytics for free but 96% of Google revenue is from ads. Obviously, Google can do what that want.
But what are the rest of us? What do we do? Here are 10 other SEO resources now that Google has taken away our keywords.
- BING WEBMASTER TOOLS: Contain an organic keyword research tool. The keyword tool measures up to six months of historical data and is ideal for long tail keyword research, since the data is based completely off of organic information and not paid data. Look for some of the fall out from Google to migrate offer to Bing for organic keyword data.
- ALEXA: A subsidiary of Amazon, has a user base of over 1,000,000 people and is a vast repository of information about the traffic and structure of the website. Among the information they report is top keywords for your site as well as your competitors. Alexa also trends this information if you go to their subscription service.
- KEYROW: How would you to see the top keywords for your site and track those changes without even registering? How would you also like to see a side-by-side comparison of those keywords to your competitors? KeyRow does all this just by typing your site, your keywords or your competitor’s site in the KewRow query boxes.
- TRELLIAN KEYWORD TOOL: While it won’t give you the keywords for your site, it will give you the keywords for your industry or your type of business. Trellian Keyword Tool also gives you keyword searches, seasonality and density. Trellian Keyword Tool has been around for awhile and has always been a valuable keyword resource.
- KEYWORD EYE: is a cool little tool to help you conduct keyword research. With a unique visual approach that uses a “Keyword Cloud.” Keyword Eye makes keyword research creative, fast, simple and even fun–adding a new twist to keyword brainstorming.
- MOZ TERM EXTRACTOR: Register for a free account at MOZ.com, a great resource. You will then have access to this tool as well as a variety of their other free SEO tools. Enter the URL of your site or your competitor to receive one word, two words, and three word phrases.
- MOZ OPEN SITE EXPLORER: also falls under the MOZ tools umbrella. To use this tool for keyword ideas, enter your or your competitor’s URL and go to the Anchor Text Distribution tab. This will show you up to 20 of the keywords that you or your competitor uses for anchor text when link building.
- COMPETE: is a subscription, not free, resource but a great one. Like Alexa or some of the other tools listed, it gives you keyword information for your site or a competitors. It has a panel of over 2,000,000 and is considered by many to be the gold standard for competitive analytics and business intelligence.
- GOOGLE ANALYTICS (CONTENT): While Google has taken away keywords, they haven’t taken away the ranking of what your write. If you have Google Analytics on your site, go into the Content tab, this will list the most viewed pages in sequence. Think about the keywords on them and you’ll have a good idea of rhw keywords people use to find your site. If your site has a blog, it will also give you a very good idea of the topics your readers value most.
- GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNER: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Google Keyword Planner won’t tell you the top keywords for your site, but it is perhaps the best tool for estimating search volume for specific keywords as well as giving ideas for other words that are similar and worth considering.
This is to give you alternatives. While none of them do exactly what Google Analytics used to, they reveal how valuable keywords are the the insights and ideaa they offer.
Were these resource valuable to you? Do you have any to add?