The 7 Most Crucial Ecommerce Metrics You Should Be Tracking Right Now

My Post - 2019-09-10T152841.071.pngSelling things online has never been both easier and harder.

On one hand, you have platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, all of which have lowered the barrier to entry for aspiring online merchants.

On the other hand, succeeding as an online store operator means having to track a lot of data, which is much easier said than done.

The most successful ecommerce businesses are the ones that can harness metrics to make informed decisions.

These metrics, in turn, tell you everything you need to know about your store’s performance, from the number of sales by day, week, and month, to the average value of all items purchased at any given time.

This, however, doesn’t mean that you should be tracking and optimizing every metric at your disposable. The key is to know the metrics that make the biggest impact on your ecommerce venture.

To point you in the right direction, here’s a list of the seven most important ecommerce metrics you should be tracking and optimizing today.

1. Sales Conversion Rate

Your ecommerce sales conversion rate is, simply put, the percentage of people who visit your online store or page who make a purchase.

To calculate your conversion rate, use the following formula:

Coversion Rate Calculation

So, if 1,000 people visited your store this week and only 10 people made a purchase, your conversion rate for the week would be 1%.

Obviously, you’d want as high a conversion rate as possible.

But the truth is that the average ecommerce conversion rate in the U.S. is much lower than you think – between 2% and 3%.

According to WordStream, however, you might fair better with Google Shopping Ads.

Now for the big question: How can I improve my conversion rate?

This is a huge topic in itself, but a few things you can try include:

  • Speeding up your product pages.
  • Upload high-quality images of your products
  • Optimize product listings using keywords

2. Website Traffic

Once you’ve tracked and optimized your conversion rate, you can then look at bringing more people to your ecommerce store.

This is where measuring website traffic comes in.

Let’s go back to your conversion rate of 1%, or 10 purchases for every 1,000 visits. After optimization, let’s suppose this rate increased to 5% – 50 sales for every 1,000 visitors. – Read more

How to Audit Integration of Google Analytics, Ads

My Post - 2019-09-10T152147.033.pngGoogle Ads is an important platform for online merchants. Google Analytics is another. Combining the two provides rich, actionable data to grow traffic and sales — assuming that tracking is set up correctly.

In this post, I’ll provide an audit process to confirm proper integration.

Syncing Google Analytics and Google Ads allows data to pass back and forth between the two platforms. Google explains how to link the two, at “Link Google Analytics and Google Ads accounts,” a Google Ads help post.

After linking, check reports the next day to confirm imported data, as follows.

Google Analytics Data in Google Ads

To confirm data from Analytics is integrated properly, go to reports in Google Ads for “Campaigns,” “Ad Groups,” or “Keywords” and modify the columns.

In Google Ads, go to reports for Campaigns, Ad Groups, or Keywords and modify the columns.

Then click on the “Google Analytics” arrow.

Click on the “Google Analytics” arrow.

Then check the available metrics.

Check the available metrics from Google Analytics.

The following data can be imported from Google Analytics into Google Ads.

  • Bounce rate
  • Pages / session
  • Avg. session duration (seconds)
  • % new sessions
  • Conversion data, such as ecommerce transactions and goals. (To import conversions from Google Analytics to Google Ads, follow Google’s instructions.)

Importantly, the following items cannot be imported into Google Ads.

  • Other channel data, such as from organic search, direct, and social media.
  • Other pay-per-click platforms, such as Microsoft ads.
  • Data on individual pages, such as page views and exits.
  • Audience data.

Google Ads Data in Google Analytics

To confirm imported Google Ads’ data, go to Acquisition > Google Ads in Google Analytics. – Read more

Small Business SEO: 6 Ways to Simplify Your Weekly Approach

My Post - 2019-09-10T123603.621.pngI doubt many small business owners wake up in the morning and think to themselves, “I can’t wait to do some killer SEO today!”

If SEO crosses an small business owner’s mind in the morning, it’s typically accompanied by feelings of dread and confusion.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Contrary to what most people think, SEO is actually quite simple.

SEO Doesn’t Have to be Overwhelming

Want to increase your visibility on Google? You could make any of hundreds of changes to your website right now.

There are also hundreds of websites, blogs, and online courses designed to teach you about SEO.

There are dozens of tools that promise to help you do everything from automating content marketing to boost your search rankings.

Then there are books, podcasts, webinars, events, and conferences.

Becoming an expert in SEO requires months, even years, of a steady commitment to learning. And the cherry on top is the fact that Google can (and does) decide to change its algorithm at a moment’s notice.

When it does so, the clock resets, and you have to re-familiarize yourself with SEO practices and rules.

As intimidating as SEO is, many small business owners simply decide not to worry about it.

Either they spend way too much hiring it out to someone else, or they just don’t deal with it at all.

The first approach takes a big chunk out of an already limited budget.

The second approach suppresses digital marketing and exposure, which leads to fewer sales.

But here’s the truth:

SEO doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

So much of the information, advice, and strategies that you see circulated in the industry are nothing more than noise.

When you learn to block out these distractions, you’ll discover that SEO success ultimately comes down to doing a few things really well.

For the best outcome, develop a weekly approach to SEO and stick with it. Doing so allows you to organize your efforts behind tangible actions that produce demonstrable results.

Here are six things you should do weekly.

1. Develop Two Internal Blog Posts

Content is the catalyst for SEO results. You can optimize your website all you want, but unless you have content, you won’t ever consistently rank for the right search terms.

A lot of businesses think they need to publish one blog post every day. In theory, this sounds great. However, it quickly becomes overwhelming. – Read more

A 5-Step Guide to Diagnosing Technical SEO Problems

My Post - 2019-09-10T123105.194.pngI’m going to keep the intro short, because I’m assuming you’re coming here amid technical SEO chaos, a fire, maybe even just a fire drill (that has a lot of executive attention).

Below is a process for fighting technical SEO flames. It may help your life, or it may not, chance are we don’t know each other, so why should I make assumptions about what’s useful to you.

Anyway, if you’re looking to a quick audit list, you should probably just skip to step 4. I won’t hold it against you.

You may miss out on some good random takeaways along the way, but most people don’t read anyways. Well, except you, since you’re still here and it turned out to be not that short of an intro after all…

Step 1: Panic Disengaged

Close your email. (This process works better if you actually follow the process).

OK, now take in a deep breath in 1.2.3.4.5… now breath out, 1.2.3.4.

Alright, now stop reading this blog. Maybe go grab some water, coffee, tea.

Take a walk outside (unless it’s frigid, then definitely don’t do that). This post will be here when you get back.

(Hopefully, you came back…)

Now to lessen your nerves – turn into a robot. Just kidding. But you get the point – nerves, anxiety, and the mental load – life can serve us a lot.

It can be hard to reach a place where emotions and nerves aren’t intertwined, especially when faced with stress. At the same time, it’s important to approach technical SEO problems with a clear, analytical, logical mindset.

Sometimes this “mode” comes with more experience, genetic, personality type, or horoscope. – Read more

15 Effective (& Easy) Ideas For eCommerce Conversion Optimization

My Post - 2019-09-06T162559.049.pngA seamless eCommerce customer journey is all about the transition from “buying” to “experiencing.”

The key to growing your online business is to let your customers explore, decide, and share, and then learn from their experience.

Over the years, A/B testing has evolved from a simple comparative study to a process backed up by a data-driven approach. Businesses and website owners can utilize this approach at every stage of their customer journey.

In this blog post, we take you through 15 A/B testing ideas for eCommerce conversion optimization that will make your cash registers ring faster than ever.

1. Use Browsing History for Personalized Recommendations 

Did you know that 45% of online shoppers are more likely to buy from an eCommerce store that offers personalized recommendations? So, if you aren’t leveraging user history on your online store to provide a personalized shopping experience and retargeting your customers, you are probably missing out on an enormous opportunity to increase your conversion rate.

Product recommendations are the ultimate eCommerce conversion optimization tactic that you need to include in your strategy. Keep track of user data such as location, traffic sources, preferences, purchase history so you can highlight products that are on top of your customers’ minds.

One of the biggest players in the eCommerce space when it comes to personalization of product recommendations is Amazon. Take a look at the screenshot below. Suppose you just viewed Dan Ariely’s book on behavioral economics. This is how your homepage is going to look the next time you land on it.

Personalized Product Recommendations On Amazon

2. Have a Persistent Shopping Cart

Persistent Shopping Cart On Jabong.com

Do you see that widget at the right bottom corner of Jabong’s homepage? Yes, that’s your persistent shopping cart. These items were added to the cart a couple of days ago, and as you can see, the cart is still intact with the items. What do you think happened here?

A long-term cookie was established when the eCommerce site was opened. And now, the cart can be viewed during subsequent sessions for a given period of time.

Magento defines persistent shopping carts as carts that keep track of unpurchased items that are left in the cart and saves the information for the customer’s next visit.

A significant percentage of online retailers employ persistent shopping carts as it positively influences buyers’ purchase decision. This is because 56% of visitors tend to save their carts for later and take days or weeks to complete their purchase, and you need to ensure their carts are intact when they return.  – Read more

How SEOs can master voice search now

My Post - 2019-09-06T160542.386Optimizing for voice search means answering questions in featured snippets, paying attention to local SEO and perfecting your mobile-friendliness.

You already know the entry-level SEO factors you need to think about constantly to make your rockstar brand visible to your audience. You’ve covered your keyword research, content strategy, domain authority and backlink profile. It’s all solid.

But at the same time, it’s 2019, and those elements won’t always cut it in the same ways they did ten or even five years ago. As we prepare to enter the 2020s, digital marketers everywhere need to stay current with changing trends in the SEO space. In this post, I’m talking about the mostly untapped opportunity of optimizing your SEO for voice search.

You know voice search, that on-the-rise realm of online querying that’s performed with nothing more than your voice and a virtual assistant, be it Amazon Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant or Siri. You can buy things online, set reminders for yourself and, of course, perform searches.

I don’t know anyone who denies that advanced voice search is one of the coolest pieces of technology to come out of the 21st century so far. But what does it mean for SEO going forward? Here’s a statistic to give you an idea: Comscore has forecast that 50 percent of all online searches will be performed by voice search by 2020. That’s a sufficient reason for any digital marketer to take pause and think. Half of all online searchers will soon be finding results using their voices.

With that in mind, ask yourself: Is your SEO optimized for voice search? If it isn’t, you may be missing out on about a billion voice searches per month. In 2017, 13 percent of Americans owned some kind of smart assistant. This number was 16 percent by 2019 and is predicted to skyrocket to 55 percent by 2022. Let’s face it. Users like the convenience of interacting with the internet using only their voices and this should affect the way you do SEO.

With all of that said, here are four actionable tips for optimizing your SEO for voice search.

1. Think featured snippets

Voice queries that can be answered directly with a featured snippet almost always are. The Google Assistant specifically tries to do this wherever possible, reading most of the snippet aloud to the user. Position zero is a great place to be and digital marketers, of course, are already vying for that coveted spot. So how do you get to be the featured snippet for a voice search? How can you ensure that Google will read your site’s content out loud to a voice searcher?

  • First, featured snippets are not always pulled from position one. Only about 30 percent are, while the other 70 percent generally come from positions two through five. What does this tell you? It says that once you’re on page one, relevance matters more than position.
  • To become the featured snippet, your content should be optimized to answer specific questions. A large portion of featured snippets are related to recipes, health, and DIY subjects, but don’t be discouraged just because those aren’t your industries. Use SEMrush’s topic research tool or the free Answer the Public tool to generate content ideas for answering specific user questions.
  • Your content will be more likely to be featured in a snippet if it’s presented as a paragraph, list or table. If you go for the paragraph, try to keep it below 50 words, and make the sentences brief. You should also optimize the paragraph with your targeted keyword. Lists and tables are likely to get featured as well, since they’re easy to follow logically and visually. Whichever direction you go with your content, make sure it’s easy to understand and free of advanced terminology. Remember, you’re going for a large audience here, and jargony content is a huge turn-off.

Combine all of these steps – getting to page one, researching one specific query and answering that query briefly and in an easily digestible format – and you’ll be well on your way to getting your time in the spotlight with one of Google’s featured snippets.

Once you’ve done that, just imagine millions of virtual assistants presenting your page’s content as the best answer to a user question. That’s the power of voice search-optimized SEO. – Read more

 

We audited Google Ad recommendations: What we learned will surprise you

My Post - 2019-09-06T153810.062The analysis revealed adding sitelinks to ads and replacing trademark terms can help but optimization scores of ad copy might not. In the end, a human-led strategy is still critical for success.

Google rolled out its “Recommendations” page, formerly known as “Opportunities,” in 2018. The page features an optimization score, which measures how well your Google Ads account is set up to perform. The higher the score, the fewer the recommendations Google has to offer.

It may seem appealing to implement recommendations from Google, given the search giant’s huge swath of search behavior data. But often, these recommendations don’t take into account retailers’ unique business goals. In some cases, the advice could increase costs or disrupt a sophisticated strategy.

My fellow analysts and I audited several recommendations appearing in various retailers’ accounts. Some recommendations, particularly those that point out missing ad components or suggest new keywords, were helpful. Other recommendations that change budgets or promote Google’s automated bidding solutions like target ROAS, can cause serious complications.

Be cautious when applying these recommendations. With a single click, you can significantly disrupt performance and lose ground in a highly competitive channel.

Worse, some recommendations are applied automatically. If you see “Auto Apply” on an ad recommendation, Google will apply the change within 14 days if it isn’t rejected. That means a campaign can shift without your explicit consent, and those changes may not always drive positive performance.

Following are a few Google Ad recommendations we uncovered as well as our assessment of their effectiveness.

Automated bidding recommendations

Google frequently suggests applying a smart bidding solution, like target ROAS, target CPA and maximize conversions. While automated bidding can save time and energy if you don’t have enough bandwidth or expertise to manage campaigns, it limits your ability to set granular bids and learn from bid adjustments. Google provides little transparency into how it sets bids when a smart bidding tool is applied. – Read more

Elevate Visibility into Your Data with Google Analytics Custom Alerts

My Post - 2019-09-06T133347.591.pngGoogle Analytics is a massively powerful and informative analytic tool, but it can be overwhelming to navigate.

In Canada, 9 in 10 of the most active websites have a Google Analytics tag, but far too many webmasters and marketers set it and forget it. Though it may be used sparingly to measure growth in traffic or gain more insight into audience sources or website behaviour, most users don’t navigate beyond a surface level if they interact with the tool at all.

While this hesitation is understandable, it can leave you blind to really important information at your fingertips. For instance, there might be an issue with the tracking tag that means data doesn’t flow in for days, weeks, or months. Or, there might be a big drop in goal completions after the move to a new contact form design. Wouldn’t you like to know this right away?

Google Analytics Custom Alerts allow you to extract the most essential and impactful data directly to your inbox so you can take action, or forward it to your tech team to investigate.

Creating Custom Alerts

Please follow the Google Analytics help guide for instructions on how to create, edit, and delete custom alerts.

Alert name: Name the custom alert something descriptive. When you receive an alert in your inbox, it should say “Traffic Drop Below 100 Daily Visits,” not “Custom Alert 1.”

Apply to: You can apply the custom alert to any views in your Google Analytics profile. I recommend restricting each alert to the main reporting view.

Period: You can receive custom alerts based on a one day, one week, or one month period. Your preference will likely depend on your traffic numbers. For instance, if you typically receive one form submission per week, it will be overkill and unhelpful to receive a daily alert saying no leads came in. However, if you have heavy traffic numbers, it could be disastrous to find out after one month that your visitors have been below the target threshold for the last 30 days.

 

Send me an email when this alert triggers: I highly recommend you enable this setting, especially if you don’t log in to Analytics often. You can trigger an email to the account associated with Google Analytics and any additional email accounts you wish, such as a colleague’s, partner’s, or your tech team. You can also set up your mobile phone to receive a text message.

Alert Conditions: This is where you can set up the type of alert you’d like to receive: where users are less than 100 per day, where conversion rate from paid traffic decreases by more than 2% from last week, or where bounce rate from mobile increases 25% compared with last month.

In this quick blog post, let’s explore 3 of the most beneficial uses for Google Analytics Custom Alerts.

Traffic Alert

The single most important consideration: are people visiting your website? In setting up a traffic alert, you can ensure that your tracking is working correctly, and more closely monitor if your traffic numbers are growing or take action if you see a drop – Read more

Advanced PPC Strategies for Your Ecommerce Site

My Post - 2019-09-03T145943.589.pngEcommerce is one of the most challenging and competitive verticals in SEM.

No matter what industry you’re in, you’re undoubtedly competing against behemoths like Amazon/Walmart with a constant fear of scrappy niche startups nipping at your heels.

As more and more dollars shift toward Shopping ads and the competition continues to climb, retailers need to adopt more advanced strategies in order to stay ahead.

Implement Shopping Brand & Non-Brand Keyword Segmentation

Keyword-based text ads allow retailers to easily understand a consumer’s window of intent and are able to optimize accordingly.

However, shopping ads were created on a product-based bidding model, which means Google’s auction selects what products show up for a specific search result.

This model takes away an important aspect of optimization and bid control because retailers are not able to bid differently on a consumer throughout their purchase journey.

While this can be disheartening it doesn’t have to be!

There is a solution to the product bidding disadvantage:

Keyword segmentation.

Through the shopping setting, campaign priority, you are able to control how much you bid for different types of queries.

How do campaign priorities work?

When you have the same product in multiple shopping campaigns, you can determine which campaign should participate in the auction for that product with the campaign priority – high, medium, or low.

The highest priority campaign will always enter the auction first, regardless of how much you are bidding.

To create a shopping keyword segmentation structure retailers must start by building three campaigns of the same product, or group of products, each with a different priority setting – high, medium, and low.

The priority settings will act as a funnel, filtering down more specific keywords via negatives.

Below is a table to highlight how the shopping keyword segmentation structure works. – Read more

Google Tests Capitalizing URLs Of Snippets In Search Results

My Post - 2019-09-03T142440.915.pngGoogle looks to be testing, or maybe it is a bug, capitalizing the URL or breadcrumb part of the snippets in the search results.

I see a number of folks on Twitter chatting about it and I have numerous screen shots of this in action.

Here are some screen shots Chris Jones from Screaming Frog sent me via email showing with the capitalization and without.

With Capitalization:

Without Capitalization:

Here are more screen shots from Twitter: – Read more