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

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

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

Exactly How Much Should You Be Focusing on Voice Search?

My Post (13).pngAs marketers, many of us tend to have an interesting case of “shiny new object” syndrome from time to time.

In the SEO world, voice search has certainly been that shiny new object over the past couple years.

When looking at generalized statistics on the matter, it’s easy to jump to conclusions.

For example, studies have found that half of all searches will be voice search by 2020. Additionally, 65% of adults aged 25 to 49 use voice search at least once a day.

These objective numbers definitely make it seem like you must prioritize voice search, or be left in the dust.

Truth be told, sinking tons of time and effort into voice search is not absolutely critical for every business.

While it definitely holds more weight in some industries than others, you need to take a close look into your own operations and see exactly how voice search factors in.

Here are a few critical questions to ask yourself before diving head first into voice search optimization.

Are You Covering the Basics?

In the process of optimizing for voice search, it’s easy to get caught up in key tasks like pinpointing long-tail keywords, common questions, and semantically-related keywords relevant to what you offer.

While these are certainly critical to rank on voice searches, you cannot prioritize them over key SEO components (e.g., loading speed, mobile friendliness, indexability, AMP, structured data).

Failing to take care of the foundational SEO elements is going to derail any voice strategy, no matter how good it might seem.

It’s important to note that the entire concept of voice search is closely tied to mobile. Moreover, with Google’s Speed Update in 2018, the wiggle room for slow-loading sites on mobile searches has become even smaller. – Read more

5 Demand Generation Tactics That Work in PPC

My Post (12).pngNot every prospective customer is ready to buy right away. Most don’t want to talk to a salesperson the instant they visit your site.

However, they may be willing to give you their contact information in exchange for a resource you provide to them.

As competition for bottom of funnel attention grows, the importance of reaching people early in the consideration stage increases.

Marketers need to think of people in all stages of consideration, speaking to those who might not be pulling out their pocketbooks instantly but are seriously researching.

What follows are five demand generation tactics you can promote via PPC campaigns to get users interested enough in your services to enter the marketing funnel.

1. Newsletter Signup

Email remains a powerful tool for directly reaching prospects. According to Hubspot, 86% of professionals prefer email for business communication.

When a user knowingly signs up for a newsletter, they are indicating an interest in your service and a desire to hear from your brand.

Signing up for a newsletter also requires less commitment than requesting a demo or talking to sales.

You’re likely to attract more people who aren’t yet ready to buy and wouldn’t otherwise have contacted you, but may be potential customers later on.

Social ads reaching people at the top of the funnel can help to capture those who may be eligible prospects down the line.

For instance, if you’re promoting photography courses, you can start by targeting people with photography-related Facebook interests and drive them to sign up for a newsletter. – Read more

Craft a smarter ad bidding strategy with machine learning in 3 steps

My Post (10).pngGood news for marketers: All the new ways to connect online are giving you even more opportunities to reach customers.

Tapping into these new touchpoints, however, can be a headache if you’re using manual bidding for your online advertising. You’d have to adjust your bids to match every single customer’s unique mix of signals, like what time they’re online, their device, their browser, their language, and so on.

That’s extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible, for a human to do. That’s why many marketers are turning to automated bidding tools, like Smart Bidding from Google Ads. These tools use machine learning to quickly analyze millions of signals and proactively set real-time, auction-level adjustments.

While this technology is powerful, it still needs proper inputs. Put another way, you’re the brains behind the machine. Smart Bidding is “smart,” but it can get even more intelligent when you empower it with the right strategies.

Let’s look at three steps you can take to make automated bidding tools work harder for you.

3 steps to make automated bidding tools work harder for you

Step 1: Choose the right bid strategy

Set up conversion tracking and then think about what you’re trying to achieve. Is it increasing conversions, decreasing cost per acquisition (CPA), getting a specific return on ad spend (ROAS), or something else? Once you’ve defined your goal, pick the right bidding strategy to reach it. There are a variety of Smart Bidding strategies you can choose from. Maximize Conversions, for example, lets you get as many conversions as possible within a certain budget. But let’s explore how two companies used two other strategies.

If you don’t have budget constraints, you might consider the Target CPA strategy. Skechers, for example, faced an increasingly competitive footwear environment in Spain and needed to not only boost sales but raise brand recognition. The Target CPA strategy let the team define a bid amount that would achieve the highest number of conversions at a specific CPA. According to Skechers, this increased their conversions by 214%. – Read more

Google My Business May Offer Premium Features for a Monthly Fee

My Post (7).pngGoogle is sending out surveys to gauge peoples’ interest in paying for access to premium Google My Business features.

Sean Butcher was first to see the survey and alert others about it on Twitter:

View image on Twitter

x-Sean Bucher@spbucher

Anyone else get this bananas questionnaire from GMB today about updated features and pricing for those features?

The full survey can be accessed here. It takes a little while to complete so give yourself some time if you plan to go through it.

The survey starts by asking some qualifying questions to learn how much money your business typically spends on advertising per year.

Part-way through, the survey introduces you to possible new Google My Business features that the company is considering rolling out as premium offerings.

All remaining questions in the survey relate to these features, as it asks users to select what they’re most and least interested in.

New features listed in the survey include:

  • Google customer support
  • “Book” button on your business profile
  • Promote your “Book” button
  • Verified reviews
  • Promoted map pin
  • Call reports and recordings
  • Verified bookings
  • Automated message responses
  • Automated response for reviews
  • Google search results placement
  • Get leads from competitor profiles
  • Background check
  • Instant quote
  • Request quote
  • Offers
  • Featured review
  • Google Guarantee
  • Remove ads from your business profile
  • Verified licenses
  • Video on your business profile

After selecting what you’re most and least interested in, Google’s survey takes your favorites and creates mock-ups of subscription packages. – Read more

What is Call Tracking and Why Should You Use It?

My Post (5).pngAre you tracking results from all the marketing campaigns you have initiated? Like most people, you are probably tracking some but not all your campaigns.

You might be tracking things such as page views, social media followers, email subscribers, and so on. However, sales do not only result from online marketing activities.

If you advertise your business on a newspaper, how can you track the ROI from your ad spend?

The answer lies in call tracking.

What Is Call Tracking?

Call tracking is a way of tracking the number of leads generated through phone calls from an online or offline campaign. For example, you can track calls coming from ads placed on a newspaper or flier to determine the success of the marketing campaigns.

How Does Call Tracking Work?

Call tracking can help to determine ROI from offline or online marketing campaigns. For example, when you run an AdWords PPC campaign, your website may show up on the first page of Google for a specific keyword (call tracking tools) you are targeting.

When customers see the phone number on the ad, they’ll call your business. But how will you know that they called because they saw the particular AdWords ad you set up? – Read more


How to Identify Keywords for Voice Search – 4 Trends to Follow in 2019 and Beyond

My Post (4).pngVoice search is poised to have a significant impact on marketing.

It will comprise fifty percent of all searches by 2020, according to ComScore — making this an exciting time to ‘be found’. In this article, we share how to identify and use the right keywords in your voice search optimization journey.

Google Voice search was introduced in 2013 and since then, has revolutionized the way people ask queries and look for products or services, simply because it is fast and effective. Whether you are a service provider or retailer, an upcoming business or a well-known brand, it’s time you prioritize voice search as a marketing tool.

Let’s understand why…

But first, we look at some crucial statistics to set the context:

  • According to SEOExpert Bradley Shaw’s voice search statistics for 2019, 61 percent of people used voice search when they were occupied (for example, cooking) and 30 percent used it for faster search results (as opposed to typing in queries).
  • BrightLocal reported that 58 percent of consumers used voice search to find local businesses in the last 12 months.
  • 52 percent of voice-activated speaker owners want to receive information about deals, sales, and promotions from brands, while 39 percent use their voice-activated speakers to find business information, according to Think with Google, insights on consumer behavior.
  • Microsoft’s 2019 Voice Report found that 19% of respondents use Microsoft Cortana, 36% use Siri, 36% use Google Assistant, 25% use Alexa.

Voice search is not only shaping the way people search but is also reshaping consumer behavior, making it a new battleground for marketers. Voice search queries are different from regular search queries and to feature on Google Search Results, you will need to do things unconventionally.

Let’s understand how it works.

The Voice Search Journey

From making phone calls to looking for keywords on the web using ‘Say your Search Keywords’, Google’s voice search has evolved to be elegant, relevant, and contextual. The Hummingbird update emphasized on semantics in search queries. With this, user search intent became a fundamental element of search. As a step further to enhance the user’s search experience, Google started using it’s Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning-driven RankBrain algorithm to identify searcher’s intent based on keywords, location, and personalization among many other factors.

Voice search is used for quick answers or when a user is about to take an action, making semantics and contextual relevance more important. Although voice search results are still not perfect, you can prepare your content around keywords based on how it is being used today. – Read more

PPC Remarketing Tips That Will Improve Your Campaigns

My Post (2).pngRemarketing is considered one of the most indispensable tools in digital marketing, and for a simple reason: it allows you to deliver engaging, highly-targeted ads to your website visitors who didn’t convert.

Indeed, not all people who visit your website the first-time will convert immediately.

However, that doesn’t always mean that they’re not interested with what your online platform has and what your business offers; sometimes, they just get interrupted by their work email just before they click the purchase button, or simply might need more time reassessing their options.

Therefore, you can initiate remarketing campaigns to capture their attention again and ultimately entice them with more personalized ads to help catalyze their decision-making process.

There are several remarketing platforms available at anyone’s disposal, but Google’s platform remains the most dominant in the market nowadays. If you are using Google Adwords for your PPC campaign, the remarketing campaigns you can execute can include static and animated images, videos, responsive ads, and text ads that are placed on the Google Search and Google Display Network.

PPC remarketing can be very effective since the customer has already expressed their intent to purchase your product and services. However, the guaranteed results it delivers will not be achieved if you don’t use the right strategies and tactics. – Read more