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Archive of ‘Internet Marketing’ category

How to Use Google Analytics to Optimize Your Website

Google Analytics not only provides a picture of the good things happening on your site which include sales and lead generation. It can also point out the things that are not working well that need to be changed. Below are five steps for optimizing your website based on data available in Google Analytics.

Identify pages with the highest bounce rates

In the Site Content section of Behavior data, you can view your landing pages. View which pages are the common entry points to your site. Are those pages designed to receive new visitors? In other words, will a new visitor know what your website is about if they land on one of these pages rather than the home page? If you see a high bounce rate, it could be that it is not a good introduction for people who are new to your business and there is some room for improvement. Pay special attention to landing pages with a large number of visitors and a significantly higher bounce rate than the other pages on your site.

Analyze goal performance

The easiest way to see how you are doing on your site is to look at your goals in Google Analytics. However, rather than looking at just the raw numbers or the absolute percentages, examine what’s been happening over time so you can see if there’s been an improvement in site performance. So yes, you will still want to look at conversions as a number on it’s own, but make sure you do watch for trends over time. And give extra attention to any spikes and conversions that may be related to a new marketing activity that you started or perhaps an update that was made to your website.

General site performance

The Site Speed section under Behavior is more relevant to the website developers then to the marketers. However if you are involved in decisions about the design, it is helpful to know if an image-heavy page seems to be causing a slow load time. With short attention spans, you are losing potential customers who lose patience and visit another site. The good thing is that this is one of those problems that can be fairly easy to fix and it’s very clear-cut.

Check the Reverse Goal Path report

In a previous article, I wrote about how the User Flow through a website might not be that meaningful for many sites. If there is not a clear path through your website to reach a conversion, it is hard to know what you are measuring other than the end result. However, you may still want to check the Reverse Goal Path report to see the pages a visitor navigated before converting on your site. It can be helpful to know which pages are the common steps followed by people who eventually complete a desired action

Look for drop offs in your conversion funnel

Once you set up goals you can see how people travel through your site to complete them with a Funnel Visualization report (found in Goals section of Conversions). With this report, you can learn which pages have a high exit rate in the funnel and brainstorm ways to improve them.

Website optimization is all about using data to make your website more attractive to visitors and make visitors more inclined to complete a desired action on your website. Looking for ways to improve your site using your analytics and qualitative data such as customer surveys is an ongoing process.

And always remember that no matter how great you may think your website is, you are not the customer. If you can stay curious about what it is your website visitors want, it’s easier to get rid of your assumptions and to be more open to creative ways for improving performance. There can be room to change your overall copy, your images, your navigation, your offers, your landing pages etc. The bottom line is if you adopt a mindset where your website is not a one-time project, you will increase the ROI with the channels used to send you traffic.

 

How to Optimize Your YouTube Campaigns

youtubeAfter your YouTube ads run for a while, you have access to valuable data about their effectiveness.  You can measure views and clicks as well as actions that happened at a later date but were initiated by your YouTube ad. Using these available metrics, you can measure performance and make decisions about what to optimize in the campaign moving forward.

Below are some considerations in optimizing your YouTube campaign.

Start with automatic placements

When selecting a targeting method, such as the topic, Google will select the relevant placements for you. Give this some time to run before adding managed placements to the campaign.  This gives you time to learn which types of sites perform well for you.

Remove low performing placements

After a period of time, compare your views and conversions for the different placements where your ad is viewed. If there are some placements that do not do well, you may want to exclude them from your campaign. Even if a particular site seems relevant to your business, it does not guarantee your audience is there.

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How to Create Your First Video Campaign for AdWords

More people are on YouTube than any cable segment in the United States, which means there is a huge audience there that will only continue to grow. And when you create your campaign, remember that mobile is just as important with video as it is for other AdWords ads since more than half of video views are on a mobile device.

Video presents such as a unique way to connect with the right people. Since they can like, share, and subscribe to your videos – rather than simply click – it’s a much different experience than user behavior on a typical Google.com search. With keywords, demographics, and topics, you can connect with the right customers at the right time.

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5 Frightening Myths about Email Marketing

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This article was originally posted on rso-consulting.com and can be found here.

With more smartphone users having access to their email 24/7, it’s important to understand how new consumer behaviors affect your digital marketing strategies. We’re cutting through the hocus-pocus to give you five email marketing myths and the truths you need to know.

Myth #1: Email marketing is dead.

Perhaps one of the biggest myths about email marketing is that it’s no longer a valid path to your customers. This couldn’t be further from the truth. According to Adobe’s 2016 Email Survey, people are spending 17 percent more time on emails year over year – with 45 percent using their smartphone to check work email and 63 percent to check personal email.

Myth #2: The window of opportunity is small.

Some organizations avoid email as a marketing channel because they assume people won’t take the time to read it. This is a common email marketing myth. The truth is people are spending 7.4 hours a day checking their email messages, a 17 percent increase year over year. This means more opportunity for your readers to see your messages as they are on the go.

Myth #3: Millennials only communicate via social media.

Thanks to the rise of Snapchat and Instagram, some companies only view their millennial audience through the lens of social media. But according to a study by Mapp Digital, millennial U.S. customers prefer email over other marketing channels. They are also more discriminating: only 38 percent of millennials subscribe to seven or more brands’ emails. So when you’re in, you’re in.

Myth #4: One email speaks to everyone.

Another one of those email marketing myths: you just need one type of email for all of your customers. Unless we’re talking about your welcome autoresponder (you have one of those, right?), almost every email you send needs to be segmented and personalized. Gone are the days of “Send All,” and in are the days of speaking one-on-one to your readers.

Myth #5: Mobile-friendliness doesn’t apply to email marketing.

With all of the hoopla surrounding mobile-friendly websites over the past couple of years, it’s understandable that organizations overlooked this new format for email marketing. The truth is, if your emails are not optimized for mobile devices, then they may not display correctly on your readers’ screens. Information may be missing, it may be hard for users to navigate through your email, and it may take forever to load. All of these obstacles can ruin the experience for your readers, so be sure your emails are set up for the way customers are using email nowadays.

Now that you know the myths about email marketing – and the truths – you can look at your email program as an opportunity to acquire, engage and convert customers, rather than a frightening part of your overall strategy.

6 Ways to Boost Your Business with Facebook Ads

6 Ways

Facebook is the most popular social network on the internet, and Facebook Ads is an extremely effective way to reach tens or even hundreds of thousands of people. Using Facebook Ads also allows you to take advantage of the wealth of data that Facebook collects, with advanced targeting options allowing  you to tailor your ads to audiences as specific or as general as you want. Here are six ways to use Facebook Ads to boost your business and promote your brand! (more…)

Use Cases for Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)

When you remarket online, you are targeting someone who is already familiar with you because of a previous visit to your website. There are so many opportunities to remarket using Google Analytics and Google AdWords together, with many people taking advantage of this on the Display Network since only 100 visits to your web site are required. RLSA (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads) can also happen for Google search ads, but at least 1,000 cookies are required before RLSA can be utilized. Google states their required minimum of 1,000 is to protect the privacy of the people on your list. What makes this great for search is the ability to use a remarketing list combined with your keyword search campaigns.

The first step is to ensure remarketing is enabled in Google Analytics. Check your Property Settings, then look for Tracking Info, and then Data Collection.  Simply turn it to “on” once you get there.  If you are brand new to Google Analytics, you will want to enable this immediately even if you are not sure when or if you will remarket. Since your RLSA list does need 1,000 cookies, it may take some time to collect this many cookies on your site, depending on the volume of traffic you normally receive.

If you have been collecting this cookie data and are ready to start using RLSA, here are some use cases to consider in the context of the goals for your site.

  • Exclude customers searching for your company name. In this case, they already know about you, but forgot your exact URL. Assuming you are doing okay with your SEO strategy, you should show up on the first page for your brand name and would want people to click on your organic link rather than your paid listing.
  • Create ads for website visitors that abandoned their shopping carts.  If they start a Google search for what they almost bought from you, here is an opportunity to get in front of them again with an offer that will entice them to complete the conversion process.
  • Target people who have converted but did so a while ago. The maximum window for targeting is 180 days but can be changed. Perhaps your product is one people tend to buy quarterly. In that scenario, you would target every quarter (90 days) and remind them it is time to buy again. (If a site has a low volume and few conversions, this may be a tough strategy for some advertisers.)
  • Although I personally tend to bid low when starting a new Search campaign for clients, using RLSA is when it is time to increase those bids. This remarketing list consists of people interested in your products or services so when it comes time for them to continue researching, or searching again, on Google.com, you want to remind them of their past interest in you.
  • A recommended keyword strategy for Search campaigns is to have tight themes in each group that are targeted to the appropriate landing page. However, with RLSA, you may actually want to use broader keywords. This can keep your targeted audience from becoming too narrow.
  • The same remarketing rule of “Don’t Be Creepy” applies to Search just as much as Display. You don’t want to say “Finish buying our ____.” Not only will that feel like an invasion of privacy, it could result in some uncomfortable conversations in a household with multiple people using the same computer. A better strategy would be to make the offer based on assumptions about why the person did not complete a purchase. For example if they abandoned their cart at the time of shipping, a promo code for half off shipping can get their attention without feeling like an invasion of privacy.
  • Focus on engaged users. Perhaps your site is driven by content. The more time people spend on your website, the more likely the will see your affiliate ads. You can create ads for this group if they spent a certain amount of time on the site or visited a number of pages.
  • If you have an ecommerce site, you can engage some of your big spenders. Invite them to come back and spend even more based on their purchasing habits and what they have bought from you previously. You may find a better ROI for your ad spend if you go after this group.

There are some limitations to RLSA. Some dimensions, such as age and gender, are not available because of privacy.  You also unfortunately can not use language, location, operating system, device or browser, but hopefully the above scenarios provide enough justification for giving RLSA a try.

Why SEO Needs Good Storytelling

This content was originally posted on rso-consulting.com.

Your story directly impacts SEO. If your business wants to engage in search marketing, storytelling is one area where you may not want to compromise.
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There is no denying a solid SEO campaign is built on extensive strategy, well-researched keywords, quality links, and intelligent analytics reporting.

But beyond the roadmap and the data that work to improve your online influence is the story – what you are trying to communicate to your audience.

All the right keywords in the universe are not going to matter if you are unable to tell visitors exactly what they need to know, in order for them to take the desired action.

So if you want to use SEO to sell more products, get more subscribers or increase attendance, then you need a good storyteller who can draw in your audience with influential messaging…without compromising SEO best practices.

Clear Writing = Clear Thinking

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Is Google Really the Only Game in Town?

rso-consulting.com.

Online Marketing Game – RSO Consulting

The online advertising and marketing universe may be larger than we realize.

Ask anyone which search engine rules the world and the answer you’re likely to receive is “Google.” And, to a large degree, that answer would be correct. But, while much evidence and general common wisdom suggests that Google is the big elephant in the room, there are different ways of looking at online marketing data that can reveal some surprising insights.

Search Engine Market Share

Google-related search domains have a global market share of about 67 percent according to NetMarketShare.com. However, other search engines dominate the market share in several countries (ex. China-Baidu, Japan-Yahoo, Czech Republic-Senzam) and each search engine has its own set of ranking factors and best practices.

So, for companies doing business in other countries, Google may not always be the go-to search engine for online advertising. In fact, because of the sheer volume of others using Google, some of the smaller, more geographically focused options may hold greater value. Depending on the type of audience you’re attempting to connect with, even in the United States, some of the lower trafficked, but potentially better niche-focused web sites (like Yahoo, Bing, etc.) might also be worth experimenting with. After all, volume isn’t the only outcome marketers are looking for; ultimately they need results!

Global Approach to Online Advertising

RSO Consulting is an online advertising and marketing firm that specializes in paid search management. We’re Google AdWords and Google Analytics Certified, and certainly turn to Google as an advertising outlet when we work with many clients. However, because we work with a number of global clients, we’ve also found great results with search engines that resonate in their markets. Our team of dedicated client managers and online marketing professionals speak many languages including Spanish, Chinese, French, Thai, Farsi, German and Korean.

For example, one of RSO Consulting’s clients is an international manufacturer of outdoor supplies and other consumer goods. They needed to increase sales and revenue online through both search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising. For them, Google wasn’t the automatic, or only, search engine choice. “They helped us in driving traffic to the website,” the company’s Global Director of Innovation said of RSO. “Traffic has increased and they contributed to conversions as well.” In fact, mobile represents almost half of all traffic and has played an integral part in the company’s growth.

Mobile another Change Agent

Geography isn’t the only competitive impact facing Google these days. The mobile environment may be equally challenging and, in fact, new players are emerging to help mobile users find the information they need. Think about it—user activity is quite different on mobile that it has traditionally been in a laptop or desktop environment. Much of the information and data used and access doesn’t exist in the traditional “web” environment. Instead, it’s housed or accessed through various apps; information shared via mobile devices tend to be in the form of photos and videos, as well as interaction via various social media sites.

These changing behaviors puts Google in a somewhat awkward position as new players emerge with new technologies and new algorithms to challenge the behemoth. For instance, Relcy is an American firm that specializes in mobile search. They recently announced the introduction of a new mobile search engine that they proclaim is “the fastest way to find” the kind of information that mobile users tend to be looking for: movies, restaurants in your area, special offers and deals, songs, images, etc. As Jess Bolluyt wrote in an article for Gear & Style CheatSheet: “When you search for a movie on Relcy, the search engine returns a synopsis, a listing of cast members, and then links to movie apps like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, populated with pricing and subscription information. Depending on what you search for, the search engine could return results across several different apps, some which you might have forgotten you downloaded, or surface new, relevant apps that you haven’t downloaded yet.”

Will these upstarts upend Google? Only time will tell but Google is a big player in the market with their brand strength, money and technology resources. So, it’s unlikely that they’re going to be ignoring the same use trends that other organizations, like Relcy, are attempting to leverage.

At RSO Consulting we stay on top of the trends that impact SEO and online marketing for clients around the globe. It’s a quickly changing, technology-enabled environment; as trends and use patterns change, so do we.

There are other players in this field with different takes on mobile search such as Quixey, Expect Labs and Taptu.   This is an area ripe for innovation so we should expect more development and players in the near future.

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Combining the Powers of Peers and Incs

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Zipcar, Uber, AirBnB. Companies we’re familiar with now, but were unimaginable years ago. What they have in common is they are all part of the new Peer Inc model which is about sharing physical resources by using these platforms.  In Peers Inc, Robin Chase shares her experience starting Zipcar and how the internet has changed the way we do business. The reason Robin Chase co-founded Zipcar is because she found that many urban dwellers, including herself, do not need to own a car on a full-time basis.  With Zipcar, they can rent a car for as little as a few hours at a time and do the renting through a user friendly platform.

Many of us have excess capacity that we often don’t think about.  If you drive your car to and from work by yourself, you have three passenger seats frequently unused and perhaps 20+ hours when your car is parked each day.  Your guest bedroom is occupied occasionally when people visit from out of town but is mostly unused.  The power of Peers (individuals) combined with the power of Inc (corporations) makes it possible for property to be a shared resource rather than individually owned.

As we look into the future, the vision is not one where machines replace humans. It is one where machines and humans work together. Our devices are the platforms but we are still needed to determine different ways of using these platforms and we make the decision about whether a solution, such as Zipcar,appeals to us or not. And for it to work, it needs to be simple.  Complicated solutions decrease the appeal for both the Peers and the Incs. (more…)

How to Optimize your Email for Mobile Devices

These five steps will help you successfully optimize your email campaigns for mobile devices:

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1. Go easy on images:

Some email providers (like Outlook) do not immediately load images when the user opens the email. For example, if you have a promotion going on, and the promotion is only advertised on the header image, then a lot of your viewers may not see it because the image may not download automatically.

According to MDG Advertising, “94% total views on average are attracted by content containing compelling images than content without images.” While mobile download speeds are increasing every year, if you have a huge image file trying to download, your viewer is going to become irritated quickly. “Every 1 second delay in loading time results in an average 7% drop in conversions.”

Optimize your emails by reducing the file size. Services such as FastStone Photo Resizer and JPEGmini can reduce the image size by as much as 80% without losing image quality. This allows you to still use quality images within your emails and keeping your viewer’s attention.

An easy way to maintain your images proportions when being viewed on a mobile device is to set the image max-width. Within your email’s HTML editor, edit the style portion of the code so that your image size is defined by the proportion of the screen, not the pixels. See below for an example.

<img style=”max-width: XX%; max-height: auto;” class=”alignCenter” src=”YOUR IMAGE SOURCE.JPG”/>

Set the width of the image to the ratio of the screen that you want to take up (for example, an image set to 60% of the screen width). Make sure to set your height to ‘auto’ so that the image will automatically adjust according to the width, avoiding any distortion.

2. Consider your layout & design:

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