April 2014 archive
Do you want to become a master of Google Analytics? In three days of Google Analytics training from ASPE-ROI, you can learn to leverage Google Analytics to better track and optimize your site and pass your Google Analytics Certification exam in class.
Google Analytics is a tool that is offered to companies to track their website’s traffic, traffic sources, and the ROI that results from the customer’s website interaction. Within Google Analytics are Micro and Macro conversions. Those terms might sound complicated and fancy but this is a huge step for companies and their marketing departments to add value to their websites.
Micro and Macro conversions can be simply defined and understood. This is a way set and track “Goals” for a companies’ website. Goals are the way a company can link data collected by this feature to the key performance indicators established by the company. Micro and Macro conversions are vastly different so in turn, they have different goal dynamics.
- Macro conversions are any primary business objectives. An example for an organic foods website could be getting a user to sign up for a loyalty program so that they can continue to market to this customer for years to come.
- Micro conversions are any relationship building enterprise that leads up to meeting a Macro goal. An example for our organic foods website could be passing out flyers or handouts, with an identification or QR code, about their organic website at a local food convention.
After enabling the “Goals” metric in Google Analytics, number conversions and conversion rates are generated and found in a standard report. This is important because in these reports data can be segmented so that it is simple to see what channels add the most value to a business. This can be taken one step further by use of the four types of “Goals” that Google Analytics offers, which are configured at the view level as listed below:
- Destination Goal happens when there is completion of an activity; an example of this would be a purchase confirmation page or a thank you page.
- Event Goal occurs when a customer downloads a file or interacts with a page, such as downloading a brochure or playing a video embedded in a page.
- Pages Per Visit Goal is when a website visitor views one or more pages in a website. An example of this goal could be a visitor viewing at least 2 pages per visit.
- Duration Goal is simple, it is a goal time length that a visitor spends on a website which could be a threshold of 3 minutes. Time length is set at the clients discretion
Now that the different types of goals have been defined and have identified which might be best for your company, the steps to set a destination goal are as follows:
- Select “Destination” as goal type and enter the URI for desired page. It is important to note that, if using ASPE as an example, instead of entering aspeinc.com/goal.html, just simply enter “goal.html” as opposed to the full URL.
- After selecting the “Goal” page, there will be three options:
- Equals (exact URL)
- Begins with (Begins with specified goal and pages that might come after as well)
- Regular Expression (Most flexible but is only helpful for those who thoroughly understand Regular Expression first)
- Goal Verification: users can use the verification to test goal settings before completing the process and is recommended to complete, just click “Verify the Goal”.
This blog was originally posted on rso-consulting.com.
Tapping into the benefits of online advertising and marketing can be a real challenge for nonprofit organizations, especially when purse strings are tight. Thankfully, the world of pay per click ads is giving back to those who dedicate their energy to a good cause.
The Pay Per Click Ad – Sans the Pay
Google’s nonprofit arm created and deployed Google Ad Grants, which offers charities access to and use of the Google AdWords program, free of charge.
“Pay per click” is a bit of a misnomer since Google foots the bill in this case, but organizations that apply for the program will harness some of the same benefits as regular users with a few stipulations:
- $329 daily/$10K monthly budget
- $2.00 maximum CPC limit
- Keyword-targeted campaigns only
- Text ads only
- Appear on Google search results pages only
Getting the Most from Free Online Advertising and Marketing
While the complimentary pay per click ad program certainly opens the door to online advertising, its infrastructure calls for marketers to get creative when it comes to strategy.
With the modest daily spend amount, nonprofits will no doubt want to maximize every click.
Here are a few ways we’ve helped our own clients achieve similar objectives through Google Grants:
- Consider the long tail keywords. Less competitive means less expensive, so long tail keywords help make the most of the $2.00 maximum bid.
- Utilize target options. Location targeting ensures your ad gets shown in markets where you have the largest impact. Time of day segmentation refines traffic even further to show ads at the best times for your business.
- Keep landing pages relevant. Decreasing the cost-per-click depends on a high quality score, which is achieved when the landing page, ad copy, and keywords are relevant to each other. A lower quality score means a higher cost-per-click.
Keep in mind that Google Grants is just one of the free online advertising and marketing tools available to nonprofit organizations.
Does your company utilize programs like Google Grants or other in-kind programs? Let us know about your experiences in the comments.
Learn to Maximize Your Business and Sales Potential through Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin and more in this social media training course.
As social media increases in popularity, we should only expect that a rise in spam will accompany it. It’s sad but true. During the first half of 2013, there was a 355% growth of social spam on a typical social media account, according to Social Media Today. “Spammers are turning to the fastest growing communications medium to circumvent traditional security infrastructures that were used to detect email spam,” the website says.
With the rise in social spam, you also run the risk of being labeled as spam by your followers. Make sure to keep good social media practices to avoid having to fix a damaged reputation as a bad, “spammy” social media user.
How to keep yourself clear from attacks:
1. Be aware: Normally, it’s easy to recognize spam content (those cheesy “You’ll never believe this photo” or “You look so silly in this photo” posts), but sometimes spammers can be a little more clever. If you see a post that isn’t characteristic of the user, don’t click it. By approaching social media with a little more caution, you can save yourself a headache.
2. Keep those passwords strong: HappyBirthday1 isn’t a strong password. Neither is your birthdate. Pick a real password. It may not have been that important to protect your Facebook page from practical jokesters when it was just you, but if you’re the manager of a business page, it’s very important to keep your password to yourself.
How to keep yourself from getting labeled as spam:
3. Have great content: This is likely in every blog post you read about social media, but it bears repeating time and time again. If you’re not providing value to your followers, get off social media now. You’re doing yourself more harm than good if you are posting spammy, overly-sales-y content that builds resentment from your fans. I know of a company that has been banned from MailChimp and ConstantContact because too many of their recipients marked their emails as spam. There ARE consequences to skipping this step.
4. Don’t engage with someone unless you have a reason to: Ungrounded contact is basically the definition of spam. At Shelten Media, we don’t engage with people unless they’ve engaged with us first in the form of a comment, like, share, tweet, etc. Then they’re fair game, but we don’t ask people to buy our product or read our blog posts out of the blue. There are some circumstances when this rule can be bent (if you truly think you can form a quality relationship based on some common interest), but you should have a strong reason to do so. An industry buzzword in their Twitter profile is not a strong reason to do so.
5. Sound like a person: Spam has a distinctive computer-like feel to it. When you’re behaving on social media (or behaving on behalf of a company), make sure to sound like a person. Crack a joke. Post a candid photo. Respond to people’s comments. Nothing looks more robotic than scheduling a week’s worth of posts and then never checking the page again.
Learn to Maximize Your Business and Sales Potential through Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin and more in this social media training course.
Getting Creative with the Blue Bird
Breaking through the noise of social media can be a challenge like no other. With 500 million tweets sent per day, you may feel a little “fluttered” when it comes to creating your own unique messages. Thankfully, your social best practices (as provided by Twitter) are included here to get you started.
1. Short and Sweet – the way to Tweet!
Are you familiar with the KISS principle? The idea of keeping it simple can be easily applied to your tweets. Keeping your tweets short and to the point can go a long way. Twitter is all about simplicity. With a 140 character limit, users can easily read and digest information from your brand on-the-go with very little time investment. Remember to also keep your tweets conversational – think of the brand voice and the person behind the Twitter handle. Channel that inner voice and share it!
2. Tweet Early and Often:
The early bird gets the worm and if he comes back for more worms? Even better! Twitter is focused on frequency and just-in-time access to information. New, social happenings, and relevant business information will keep your followers engaged and interested in what your brand has to say. An inactive Twitter account tells users there’s no one home and who want’s that? Depending on your audience, purpose of social media, and overall objectives, you may find your social sweet spot. Cast a wider net with tweeting a few times a day and then modify your tweeting frequency based on the engagement you see from your followers. Twitter also encourages that you set up a Tweet schedule and “Make it a Habit.”
3. Personalizing with @
Prepare for and pass the Google Advertising Fundamentals Exam in one comprehensive Google AdWords training course while taking your skills to the next level.
Anyone who works in AdWords knows Google is constantly making updates and improvements. Without making an effort to keep up with these changes, it can be easy to lose track of what’s new and different, consequently, missing out on new opportunities to improve your AdWords campaigns.
On April 22nd Google’s VP of Product Management for AdWords, Jerry Dishler, will be making an announcement about brand new Google AdWords innovations. The announcement will be at 12pm ET can be watched live on the Inside AdWords blog.
Rumor has it that Dishler will be announcing new features allowing you to use context to reach customers more effectively. We’ve also heard that there will be new tools for the web, mobile and mobile apps. Google is focused on enabling functionality and performance measurement across multiple screens. Could this be the announcement of a new, official AdWords app for smart phones and tablets?
Currently, the best thing available is the AdWords Express app. This App allows you to view the statistics of your active campaigns, but you still can’t make significant changes to the campaigns within the app. So a new, official AdWords app that allows you to manage your campaigns on the go would be a great addition to the toolset.
To join the event and keep abreast of the Google AdWords latest and greatest, register for “Step Inside AdWords” here. To join the conversation on Twitter or Google Plus, follow the hashtag #StepInsideAdWords.
For more Google AdWords instruction, tips and tools check out Google AdWords training from ASPE-ROI. This 3-day Mastering Google AdWords course will teach you the terminology, knowledge and strategy necessary to achieve results with Google AdWords. You’ll also prepare for and pass the Google Advertising Fundamentals Exam on the final day of class.
If your business still lacks a presence on Google Sponsored Ads, no need to fret, because we’re going to walk you through the basics on getting started with Google AdWords. It’s quick, fairly painless, and fun (OK, it’s what you make of it).
First, what we’re trying to capture here is people searching for information. If their search is relevant to your business, you want to have a presence on Google when people are conducting these searches. Your website can either appear naturally through SEO efforts, or you can “pay-to-play,” if you will, with your business appearing in the Sponsored Results.
Just like anything else when you sign up for something online, you need to provide them with some basic information. In this case, you need to give Google an email address and your website.
Now let’s create your first campaign!
Want to win $1000 for your AMA Chapter to use for a marvelous event or speaker? If that answer is yes, then you should be voting daily in the 2014 AMA Chapter Challenge!
This nationwide competition between AMA chapters challenges each chapter to secure the most votes. The chapter with the most number of votes will win a $1000 cash prize and 1 free day of training hosted by ASPE-ROI.
It is very easy to vote, just visit the AMA Chapter Challenge homepage and choose your chapter and the course you would like ASPE to bring to you! This link can also be conveniently forwarded to any colleagues, family members, friends, and fellow AMA Members. The more people you get to vote, the better chance your chapter has of winning!
As of April 15th, the current chapter in 1st place is the AMA New Orleans Chapter! But voting will not close until May 15th, so you have plenty of time to take the lead! Once voting is closed the winner will be announced on the ASPE-ROI Blog.
Vote for your chapter now in the 2014 AMA Chapter Challenge!
In my last post I talked about how Scrum can generally address some key challenges faced by product managers. But we didn’t get into the details of how Scrum can be applied, and that’s really what we’re talking about today.
First, let me state that Scrum can be successfully applied to product management whether they’re lone-wolves or part of a product management team. This is important to note as the majority of product managers out there are either lone-wolves or part of teams with 3 or less people, below the threshold typically recommended for software development teams using Scrum. But we’re not talking about software development teams – we’re talking about product managers, and we’re a bunch of magical sparkle ponies, so there! I’m only half-kidding about the sparkle ponies, but trust me, this can work.
Second, let’s talk about those other folks doing Agile with Scrum. How does Agile Product Management with Scrum fit into the picture if both your development and marketing teams are already doing Scrum? That’s a great question! In that situation, you could potentially wind-up with 3 organizations running 3 different sprint schedules and each having to spend time in each other’s sprints as key stakeholders. Thankfully, a bit of forethought and experience in these situations has already produced some guidance. Let’s talk about the relationship with your development team first.
You are a product manager. You provide leadership and vision. And you can’t lead by being a step behind everyone. So for this simple reason, you need to schedule your product management sprints so you have your planning meeting ahead of your development team’s planning meeting. And by “ahead,” I recommend that you schedule your product management sprints to run on an in-between schedule with your dev team so your sprints and your dev team’s sprints overlap.
This is much more productive than trying to schedule your PM sprints and dev sprints to have the same start and end dates. If you do that, you don’t give yourself enough time to actually plan and execute some of the work you need to feed into the dev team’s sprint plan. Also, it’s convenient to have the dev team’s sprint reviews occurring ahead of your PM sprint planning so you have a little time to digest what they delivered and any stakeholder feedback.
You don’t need big bucks to see big results with search engine marketing and our April 9th web seminar explained why.
On April 9th Kate Stonich delivered the free, one-hour presentation, “Building an AdWords Starter Campaign.” In this presentation Kate walked participants through the foundations of creating their first AdWords “starter campaign” beginning with a well-structured campaign, relevant keywords and enticing creative for the end user.
Download the presentation slides from our Web Seminar Archives or listen to the full recording to learn how to launch your online presence and become AdWords savvy.
One common public relations platitude is “A company is only as good as its employees.” It’s why employee relations is a clearly defined segment of PR, and it’s why Southwest Airlines is often used as a case study for outstanding business leadership.
Several tools — including memos, email reminders, shared Google Calendars and bulletin boards — can help the internal communication process, but the larger the organization, the harder it is to keep everyone equally informed. Luckily, though, we live in the 21st century and can take advantage of the Internet. There are several social media platforms that form a group called “Enterprise Social Networks” or ESNs. The specifics differ from program to program, but an ESN is a social media platform for specifically for your employees.
How do I use an ESN?
There are several ways to use an ESN to streamline the communication process and strengthen your team:
- Link employees with common interests: Because employees can post interests and hobbies to their profiles, an ESN can provide limitless conversation starters. It’s perfect for the awkward breakroom small talk. Imagine the team building that could happen when your employees figure out who likes to read, who likes to run, who is a political junkie, who is obsessed with professional football, etc.
- Increase communication about ongoing projects: One common downside to a large organization is a lack of transparency about projects. Employees are usually so busy at completing the next report or design, that they don’t have the time to update their teammates until they’re done. Most ESNs come with a “Project” function that will keep all employees up to date on every project. Instead of having to send two follow up emails to finally obtain the status of the new logo design, you can just hop online and check your ESN.
- Help new employees adapt faster: I’ve been the “newbie” several times in my career (either in internships or jobs), and one of the most frustrating things is the lack of information about who’s in charge of what or who knows how to do Task X. I would have relished the idea of an ESN on which I could search for “Design” and figure out exactly who to ask about that logo. That sounds far better than getting ping-ponged through the office for what ends up being a very simple answer (which is often the case).
- Unify communication processes: Instead of requesting meetings through Google Calendar, posting announcements on the break room bulletin board, and hosting meetings through phone conferences, a company can use an ESN to centralize all communication. Many ESNs have all of these functions, which means you’ll have fewer Internet tabs to worry about. That alone sounds reason enough to me to look into it!