Gathering insights in Google Analytics can be as easy as A-B-C

My Post (26).pngToday’s customers are deeply curious, searching high and low for information about a product before making a purchase.

And this curiosity applies to purchases big and small—just consider the fact that mobile searches for “best earbuds” have grown by over 130 percent over the last two years. (Google Data, US, Oct 2015 – Sep 2016 vs. Oct 2017 – Sep 2018. ) To keep up with this curious customer, marketers are putting insights at the center of the strategy so that they can understand customers’ intentions and deliver a helpful, timely experience.

In our new guide about linking Google Analytics and Google Ads, we explore the broad range of reports available in Analytics. These reports give you crucial insights about the customer journey that can then be used to inform your campaigns in Google Ads. Here’s what you should know about the A-B-Cs of reporting.

Acquisition reports

How did your customers end up on your site in the first place? Acquisition reports answer this question, offering insights about how effectively your ads drive users to your site, which keywords and search queries are bringing new users to your site, and much more. This video gives you a quick overview of how Acquisition reports work.

Behavior reports

How do you users engage with your site once they visit? Behavior reports give you valuable insights about how users respond to the content on your site. You can learn how each page is performing, what actions users are taking on your site, and much more about the site experience. Learn more about behavior reporting here. – Read more

How to use Google Analytics: A beginner’s guide to Google’s service for website-traffic analytics

My Post (25).pngJust the name is intimidating to some people: Google Analytics.

It might help to know that analytics is the name for the branch of mathematics dedicated to analyzing data, and is generally used to tease out meaningful patterns that can be used to generate statistics and make predictions about future trends.

That said, you don’t need to know or perform any math to use Google Analytics— all of that is done in the background for you.

What you can do with Google Analytics

Google Analytics — commonly abbreviated as GA — is a free tool that Google provides to help you understand, analyze, and improve your website traffic. It provides graphs and data that you can use to understand information about your site. Here are just a few examples of the kind of information you can learn using GA:

  • How many unique visitors click on the site and specific pages within it.
  • How many overall page views go to specific pages (and the site in general). Pageviews are different from unique visitors, since the same person might click on a page more than once.
  • How long visitors are spending on each page during their visit.
  • What your “bounce” rate is — in other words, what percentage of your visitors are leaving the site after looking at only a single page, rather than following links to other pages.
  • Information about your visitors’ demographics, including where they are from, and what kind of browser or mobile device they’re using to visit.

It’s important to note that only the site’s owners and managers can see GA data, so strangers, visitors, and competitors cannot, for example, access your Google Analytics page (at least not without your permission or login information).

How to create a Google Analytics account

To get started, you need to create a Google Analytics account for each website you own or manage. – Read more

How to Create a Lead Gen Landing Page for Mobile That Converts

My Post (24).pngLanding pages are crucial to modern digital marketing campaigns.

Unlike the past when just a website was enough to strengthen your outreach program, getting mileage requires focused attention at various levels, today. Your prospective customers are everywhere, using multiple devices with dwindling attention. In such a scenario, it is important to capture leads with the help of targeted landing pages that are quick to capture leads.

Landing pages are really important and 48% of the marketers create dedicated landing pages for each marketing campaign.

A landing page is designed with just a single aim- to capture a lead by persuading a visitor to interact with call-to-action. Functioning as a standalone page, landing pages serve as a destination for visitors who choose to click on your pay-per-click or similar campaigns.

Getting Landing Pages Right: Why Landing Page Optimization is Hard?

Landing pages aren’t a new phenomenon and marketers have been using them for a while to capture leads. But the problem lies in the approach they follow to develop a landing page. Most often, many consider landing pages akin to corporate websites and make a mistake in accounting for the purpose of the landing page.

A website is meant to inform the visitor about what all a company can do. It’s more of a digital storefront giving visitor the power to browse, read and look around before making a decision.

The power to browse, read and look around before making a decision.

In contrast, landing pages are designed to create a sense of urgency in the minds of users. Landing pages are meant to offer something to the visitor in lieu of their personal details, which they share voluntarily.

The difference in approach is what challenges marketers to create the ideal landing page. In fact, creating and testing landing pages is one of the top five challenges faced by modern-day marketers. – Read more

7 Major SEO Mistakes You Are Making Right Now

My Post (23).pngEvery day, there are tons of websites being birthed. This means that the demand for proper SEO keeps increasing by the day. That said, it is no simple task to keep up-to-date with SEO trends year after year.

A single Google update can render a lot of your SEO efforts ineffective. As an online digital marketing model for most business owners, continual improvements in practicing SEO is what can set apart a successful brand from another.

Luckily, the internet harbors a lot of information on some of the best SEO practices you should be executing for better ranking results and avoiding some major SEO mistakes.

Even with best practices in SEO, you still could keep lagging on SERP. Surprisingly, it could have nothing to do with algorithmic changes by Google, but rather some mistakes you are making.

The challenge is usually in identifying the errors you are making. Given that SEO is a series of many different activities, a mistake may easily go unnoticed. While you may be aware of all the necessary steps of SEO’s best practices, some errors are fatal.

The one thing that makes you an expert in SEO is your willingness to change and improve, based on the constant advances that happen in this field. Find below some of the seven rookies, yet major mistakes you are making right now:

1. Publishing poor quality content

After practicing SEO for a while, you know for sure that great content is vital for successful optimization. Still, you may start losing your grip on producing great content. The problem is never in publishing poor quality content, but when you become consistent with substandard material. Over time, you will realize fewer and fewer people are visiting your site, few return visitors, fewer shares, less comments and likes on your copy, among others.

To know whether your content is of poor quality, you need to analyze it based on the following pointers:

  1. Does it resonate with the needs of your target audience? Your audience should always come first with SEO. What do they want to know? What do their conversations look like online? What kinds of questions are they asking on your timeline? Understanding the needs of your audience is the first step to creating material that meets their needs.
  2. Is it up-to-date with the current issues in your industry? Professionalism is about keeping up with the trends in your industry and offering a unique approach to issues for the benefit of your target market.
  3. Is the piece you are sharing duplicated content? Can you find a similar article anywhere online or on your website? Duplicated content takes away your capability to choose which page you want to rank for, which means that two pieces of work might be competing against each other. The result is a low-rank position.
  4. Does it have a purpose? Either to inform, persuade, entertain or all of them. Why else would people consume your content when there is a ton of information being offered by so many other sites online?
  5. Are your pieces engaging? How many people are sharing, liking or commenting on your content?
  6. What is the word count of your content? The most recommended word count for a high-quality copy ranges between 1000 and 2000 words. Below that, your content can fail to articulate the major issues properly. Above that may become monotonous or too wordy for a reader.

While all these signs may point you toward something, you should already be aware of, the kind of quality you are producing. The best way is to contrast your pieces with the searches on Google’s SERP. Ideally, once you type in your target keyword, the top results should give you a benchmark on the quality you need to be writing on. With content, you may need to hire a content creator so you can ensure all your material remains fresh and relevant, withstanding the test of time.

2. Not optimizing for mobile first

This tech-savvy generation has brought with it some new demands in the way SEO should be done. Mobile-first optimization is a key ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. What this means is that the mobile version of your website becomes the first result that Google uses to display on SERP for targeted keywords.

It is however not to imply that only your mobile site results are considered for indexing, but instead that they are considered first. This means that you stand a better chance at ranking higher on SERP if you have a mobile site that Google bots can crawl first before they get to your desktop results.

While you may have a dedicated site for your mobile users, mobile-first optimization asks for so much more. Technically, before you do anything regarding SEO, it must first be tailored for the mobile audience before the desktop audience. This makes sense if you want to drive more traffic, since mobile traffic is way more than desktop traffic today.

As you would configure your site for the audience first before search engines, do the same with the mobile audience. For the most part, this will require choosing keywords that favor mobile searches more than desktop searches. It is at this point that you must learn more about voice search. To ensure your mobile site is fully accounted for, there are a few rules to stick to – Read more

Desktop vs. Mobile: The Difference Between SERPs

My Post (22).pngWe took 50,000 random keywords in the US database to find out just how different the SERPs are for the same search query on different platforms.

Spoiler alert: Not exactly chalk and cheese, but the big picture is disturbing.

There are a lot of deviations between platforms: not too many extremes, but only 13% of websites get to retain the exact same position across devices. SERPs on different devices are distinct due to different SERP features and, obviously, the screen space, which drastically changes the user experience and your website’s visibility.

With the share of mobile traffic eating up more and more global bandwidth, this becomes a point of great concern.

Our Research Methodology

In our study, we used the SEMrush Organic Research tool to look into URL Deviations and Domain Position Deviations for the 50,000 random keywords in the US database.

Picture it like this — we took snapshots of desktop SERPs and compared them to snapshots of mobile SERPs for the same query. Data on the URL Deviations shows an overall picture of how many pages lose their positions in mobile search.

For a more precise and detailed presentation of the difference between desktop and mobile SERPs, we have used the Domain Positions Deviations. By tracking domains and not specific pages, we have ensured that we are taking into account mobile versions of pages with different URLs.  – Read more

Optimize Your CTA: Better Alternatives to ‘Click Here’

My Post (20).pngEffective calls to action on webpages motivate visitors by providing descriptive labels, incentives to “click here”, and understandable directions.

How do you optimize links for search engines and people?

It begins by:

  • Understanding user goals and user behavior.
  • Establishing trust.
  • Creating accessible, clearly labeled directions that inspire interest.

It sounds so easy in theory, but in truth, our webpages have been confusing our online guests since, well, 1992?

That’s right. Tim Berners-Lee wrote a style guide for link construction in 1992. Here are some bits of wisdom on why we do not click here:

“Let me urge you, when you construct your HTML page, to make sure that the thing-you-click is actually some kind of title for what it is when you click there.”

While You’re Here, Go There Now

The trick to optimizing calls to action is to present the action at the precise moment when your website visitor is most interested in taking the next step.

There has to be compelling content preceding the link, as well as an accurate description of the landing page.

If the landing is a dud, every time you present another opportunity to leave the page, your user may not trust that you are not wasting their valuable time.

In the example below, the call to action is clearly labeled. Even better, it is obvious designers understand their customers’ fears over money, ease of use, customer confidence and the use of color. – Read more

Comparing SEO to PPC

My Post (19).pngSearch engine optimization is different than pay-per-click advertising. While they share the goal of driving searchers to a website, you can’t expect the immediate results in SEO that paid search often produces.

Likewise, approaching PPC with an SEO orientation misses opportunities.

The Right to Rank

With SEO, you earn the right to rank in search results. You pay for that right in PPC.

Content relevance is critical in SEO. There’s very little chance that you could rank on page one for any term that wasn’t relevant to the content on your site. No site has the right to rank, no matter how big the brand or how much it spends on content.

Organic rankings are largely based on searchers’ intent. For example, an ecommerce site is less likely to rank for an informational phrase, such as “how to polish boots.” The sites that rank for that phrase are military and fashion blogs, or instructional.

Google has determined, in 20 years of analyzing data, that searchers have expectations based on the keywords they use. When an organic listing doesn’t meet that need, searchers are more likely to bounce back to choose another result. In turn, that contributes less satisfaction with search results overall (and the search engine).

In paid search, lower relevance impacts your Quality Score — Google’s measurement of page quality and the relevance between your ads and your content — which impacts the cost per click. But if you’re willing to increase the bid, you can still rank in paid search when the content couldn’t rank in organic search.

Links

Beyond relevance, the authority conveyed upon a site by the links from others still plays a central role in organic search algorithms. If your site lacks the quality and quantity of links required to outrank the competition for a search phrase, then it’s less likely that it will rank.

Linkless landing pages, on the other hand, typically perform well in paid search — landing pages are the preferred approach when specific messages might not be appropriate for the broader site audience.

Internal links are important as well for SEO, but not for PPC. The hierarchy of your site’s internal linking and navigation demonstrates to search engines which pages are more valuable. More link authority flows to pages that are linked from the home page or the header and footer navigation, giving them a stronger chance to rank and drive revenue.

Conversely, landing pages could be orphaned from the rest of the site and still perform well in PPC. – Read more

What’s the difference between Google Ads and Google Ad Manager?

My Post (18).pngIn mid-2018 Google made some changes to the names of their core ad products. So, what’s changed, what’s new and why did Google even change it in the first place?

Two decades. That’s how long the AdWords and DoubleClick brands were around before Google gave them the chop in summer 2018. Well, 18 years for AdWords and 22 years in the case of DoubleClick. These brands made up a huge part of Google’s product lineup and, well, the digital advertising landscape as a whole.

But, that landscape has changed a lot over the last twenty years, leading Google to reorganise their ad products and bring them up to speed with the requirements of today.

So, where are we now? Here’s a quick summary of what’s become of DFP, AdWords and the other Google ad products:

  • Google AdWords became Google Ads
  • DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange were bundled into a new platform, called Google Ad Manager
  • DoubleClick advertiser, products (such as DoubleClick Bid Manager) and Google Analytics 360 Suite all got rolled in the new Google Marketing Platform

Following so far? Great.

Since Google unveiled these new product names, the most common source of confusion, both here at NEXD and among our partners has been differentiating between Google Ads and Google Ad Manager.

Probably the easiest way to figure out which is which: if you’re a Publisher, you’re probably interested in Google Ad Manager. If, on the other hand, you’re an Advertiser, you’re likely more interested in Google Ads.

That by no means covers every application, of course.

But to help you understand a little bit more comprehensively why these names changed, and what’s under the hood, we’ve broken them down into the three core products. – Read more

9 Amazing Ways to Use Google Analytics for E-Commerce

My Post (17).pngGoogle Analytics allows you to access detailed information regarding your online store’s traffic and sales.

It doesn’t matter what type of business you have or what your selling, Google Analytics is a staple component of your marketing strategy that will allow you to monitor and grow online conversions.

Google Analytics can seem a bit confusing at times even for a seasoned analyst. Sometimes it’s hard to know which metrics or reports are relevant to your e-commerce store, and which ones are just fluff.

In this article, I’ll be showing nine ways to use Google Analytics for your e-commerce store to help you get started today.

If you’re new to Google Analytics or you’d like to create an account you can use this guide to help set up Google Analytics in under 15 minutes. to follow along better in this article.

1. Use Google Analytics to Track Your Marketing campaigns.

With the power of Google Analytics, you can track any of your store’s online marketing campaigns (with or without Google Adwords/AdSense).

Track which landing pages and sources of the campaigns people interact with to complete a purchase. Giving a detailed data to see which funnels are the most effective and which aren’t so you can do A/B testing.

Maybe you already have a landing page running and your not sure what to do? Why not try these 7 Step from a Conversion Playbook To Quickly Optimize Your Landing Pages to point you in the right direction.

If you have a video or youtube channel included in your campaign you can use Google Analytics to track how many people watched your video or completed a purchase because of that video.

If you’re looking for amazing landing pages to use with your market campaigns or contest to host, Wishpond provides all the tools and features you need from start to finish with an easy Google Analytics integration so you can measure your results.

You can also use Google Analytics to help you know which channels to retarget customers to bring back lost sales.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again when it comes to conversions and sales. Google Analytics is your partner in crime.

2. Use Google Analytics to Track Your Sales and Revenue

For any business owner tracking revenue and sales is important. You want to know if your meeting your financial goals or see where you’re falling short.

So how do you use Google analytics to track your website’s revenue accurately?

First, you have to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What are the landing pages that are getting the most conversions?
  2. How do people arrive on these pages?
  3. Which products represent the highest value to your customers in your store?
  4. How do you track your online revenue?

Stop yourself from diving into endless reports, and try to answer the questions above, from there best action to take after would be to set up a goal in Google Analytics. based on your answers. Your goal can be tailored to track completed transactions, which allows you to track your landing pages and products customer make on purchases. – Read more

Inside Google Marketing: How we measure the bottom-line impact of our advertising campaigns

My Post (16).pngWe have so many marketing metrics at our disposal that we end up measuring both what matters and what doesn’t. Google’s Avinash Kaushik shares three tips for making sense of all the noise and understanding the real business impact of a marketing campaign.

In digital, every view, click, and scroll generates reams of data that we can use to better evaluate our marketing campaigns and inform future decisions. While this has helped us understand our digital marketing efforts to a degree not possible even a decade ago, it can be hard to isolate the signal from the noise. Too often, we end up measuring what matters, what doesn’t matter, and what should never matter.

It’s a problem almost every marketer will relate to. To overcome it, my colleagues and I on Google’s advanced multichannel analytics team have identified three steps that allow us to make sense of the noise and become smarter at measuring the bottom-line impact of our advertising. I think that, by following these steps, other marketers can do the same.

1. Classify advertising metrics based on their business impact

As a marketing analyst, I love data. But data is only a means to an end. The end goal is not to create a pretty chart showing how many impressions different campaigns got. It’s to have an impact on the company’s bottom line. To separate the wheat from the chaff, at Google, we classify the tsunami of metrics at our disposal using an impact matrix. – Read more