Posts Tagged ‘search engine marketing’

Apr 10
2012

Manhattan Aerial ViewToday we are happy to announce Manhattan based Imerex is now a division of E-Nor, further expanding E-Nor’s services into the East Coast and Eastern Canada. Our combined teams offer comprehensive digital expertise in Web Analytics, Digital Marketing Optimization and Search Engine Marketing.  We have partnered together for many years and welcome this growth and expansion.

Feras commented, “We have seen real growth in the digital analytics field and a surging demand for web analytics that integrate marketing channels into one place. As analytics experts, we’ve shown our clients how insightful and powerful actionable data can be. Once they have that visibility, the next logical step for them is to ask how they can improve their marketing efforts. Having Imerex as part of our company allows us to provide key strategic and executional expertise on the marketing side which, when combined with our advanced analytics consulting and implementation, can make the most of our client’s marketing dollars.”

We are very excited about this expansion and enhancing our capabilities to better support the growing analytics needs .

Some of the world’s most recognized brands in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout North American have relied on E-Nor’s team and analytics framework to deliver results and actionable insights to positively impact the business. With offices in the heart of Silicon Valley, Southern California, Alberta, Canada, and now New York, we are well-positioned to service organizations aspiring to be more data-driven, as well as Google Analytics Premium clients looking for our elite support, deeper analysis and more analytics horsepower.

Stay tuned for more exciting news!!!

Jan 10
2011

I have recently guest-authored a series of posts on mobile analytics strategy on the Google Analytics blog. Each of the three posts highlights simple yet key steps for marketers to track their mobile traffic and improve their returns.

For those of you on the go, here’s a quick glance at the material I covered.  Try to make time to read each post in-depth, even if you have to read it on your smart phone!

image

1 – Look for Mobile Trends

In the first post, I detail how to monitor and analyze mobile traffic using key performance indicators. This is best done by customizing your GA settings to receive mobile traffic reports, custom alerts, and for the enthusiast, using the Google Analytics data export API.

2 – Give Your Reports More Dollar Power

So you’re mobile trends are positive, do you just throw the data to your boss? No. You always want to give your reports more dollar power. The second post centers on the power of presentation. If you’re CEO can easily connect the dots, two bottoms will be covered — your company’s and yours! :)

3 – Act on Your ROI

The average analytics guy will stop at step 2, but the third post encourages you to do more. Additional segmentation and leveraging  AdWords’ reports will allow you the much needed visibility into campaign performance to maximize your results.

image

And There’s More!

For tor the technically inclined, and to get a more comprehensive perspective on your mobile presence, there is more you can do. Check out the code site page on mobile to:

  • Track native iPhone or Android applications
  • Track activities on websites from low-end mobile devices

And be on the lookout for  niche analytics solutions specifically built for mobile.

Remember, it’s never too late to start maximizing your company’s mobile investment and implementation. Be sure to check out each post for more details and practical tips.

For more analytics tips and insights, follow @ferasa on twitter.  Happy analyzing!

Jul 29
2010

With the creation of smart phones and since your mobile device is conveniently available anywhere, mobile internet browsing has increased astronomically. As such, users have come to expect better experiences on their phone. Unfortunately, not all sites have a mobile version, which is a problem since there’s a good chance your site will look significantly smaller and possibly illegible on a mobile device.

This should raise a couple questions:

  1. Is your site compatible on all cellular phone platforms?
  2. Is the site being used on a cellular phone the same way it would be used on a desktop?

If you aren’t sure, don’t guess; check your analytics. Here’s a post on how to track mobile traffic.

Issues with Mobile Usability

The answer depends ultimately on the function of your site but of course regardless, browsing a website on your mobile is a much different experience than browsing on your desktop. That said here are some usability issues you may run into while browsing on your mobile:

  • Excessive Scrolling – Phones have been getting smaller and sleeker over the past couple years, which means screens are even smaller. While the width of a standard desktop screen is around 1052px, the standard width for a mobile site is 250px. Unfortunately because of the small screen restriction, viewing a site is very frustrating because of scrolling and/or zooming in. I’ve run into this problem so many times, when I search on my blackberry, I always have to zoom into the site to be able to read, which of course means I have to scroll from right to left to read the content properly.
  • Load Time – Non-mobile-friendly sites could take a long time to load.
  • Page Height – Along with having to zoom, the page could be longer than necessary, causing the user to have to scroll down.
  • Flash – If your site has flash, more than likely it will not be supported by all cell phone browsers.
  • Mobile Location – Another factor affecting mobile browsing is location of the user. While computers are generally stationary, cell phones are used everywhere (hence the world “mobile”). The contrast of the colors and font size on a site may not be legible while using a cell outdoors.

Mobile Design Tips

Here’s a list of guidelines for designing a more-user friendly mobile site:

  1. Screen Size – Design your mobile site to be 250pxE-Nor Mobile
  2. Limited content – Since the width is limited, height may be used to fill in space that is lost with width. However, it’s best to avoid having a long page of content. After all, this is a phone and is still quite small. Whether its touch screen or keys based, it’s much harder to scroll up or down than it is on a desktop.
  3. Clear action buttons – Again, since the screen is small, it’s best to make sure if you do have images to make them clear, and if that means using the whole width that’s okay. Same goes for buttons, if there is a clear action, it will be seen, so the bigger the better. I highly recommend buttons over links; specifically for touch screen users. When trying to click on a link, it’s always so hard to actually click on the correct link. The link will usually be buried within text and other links.
  4. Create a separate mobile environment – administering a site that is optimized for a desktop that is at the same time 100% mobile friendly is very difficult since both natures are completely different. That would mean you’re essentially limited to the parameters of mobile (for example, when choosing the width of images for your desktop site, you’ll be nagged by the limits of your mobile resolution). It’s best to have a separate environment specifically catered to mobile screens allowing you to have freedom in both designs.
  5. Real Estate – Mobile “real estate” is very limited; to maximize the use of space in your design, simplify your site to the very basic functions of your company. For example, if your desktop has three panes; a side menu, content, and news. The side menu may not be completely necessary, especially since the navigation on mobile and desktop is completely different.
  6. Meet the user’s needs quickly – If the South Africa World Cup is the hot topic, and you’re cnn.com, make sure that story is visible above the fold right away.
  7. Clear functions – Make things clear and easy for the user to find. If you want someone to click on a button, make it large and bright to emphasize the action. For example, on a mobile site it would be smart to have a back button rather than a link because it’ll be easier for the user to find the button than a link since a link could easily get hidden through the text.
  8. Ease of use – The user shouldn’t have to waste time scrolling up and down looking for something that should be easy to find. For example, in tip #5, I talked about “real estate.” With a limited width, you lose a lot of space for content, but what you lose in width you can make up in the height. This makes it much easier for the user to read rather than having to scroll from left to right.
  9. Browsing Links – Use only basic browsing links such as home and back, you don’t need to include the whole menu that is on your desktop site. Make sure to add the browsing links at the top and bottom of the page.
  10. Search – For some sites, it is very important to have search because the site is search based for example, Google or Target. Google is search based links, while Target is search based products. If your site is search based, including two search boxes may be really helpful. Some companies have sites that are entirely search based such as Google, their desktop and mobile site is just a search bar. As for Target and Amazon their home pages have a search bar at the top of the page with browsing links below, which is another way to go because you can browse products as well as search for them.
  11. Testing – Lastly, make sure to test the usability of the mobile site on different phone browsers. This, of course, would be a separate checklist from launching your desktop site. Keep in mind, phones can be used in any location, for example, the contrast of a screen in the sunlight, has to be legible.

Having a mobile friendly site, will make it much easier for your customer to navigate, making for a better user experience, in turn, increasing your conversion. If mobile phones make shopping more convenient, you want to make sure your site takes advantage of that trend and make it easy for users to shop for your product as well.

And now that you have a mobile site, few things to keep in mind:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO), here is a link from the Google Webmaster tool on how to Help Google Index Your Mobile Site. Mobile websites are often returned in Google mobile search results (and other search engines too) in preference to non-mobile websites.
  • And once your mobile site is ready for prime time, you might want to drive qualified traffic through paid search (aka Pay-Per-Click) on Mobile, here are some ideas from the Google AdWords blog.
  • Last but not least, you gotta measure! A separate mobile website is easier to track on all devices than an integrated website where the tracking code might not run on all devices. Try Google Analytics for Mobile.

We’re in the process of practicing what we preach, so keep an eye out for the E-Nor Mobile Site! :)

References

For more info on mobile usability check out the following references:

Apr 21
2010

Although every day is a mother’s day, here in the US we dedicate one day especially for her to show our appreciation and thankfulness.  Mother’s Day is just around the corner. As a marketer or a business owner you are getting ready, like all retailers, to kick-off your Mother’s Day campaigns. Last year’s campaign did ok. You didn’t get fired :) , but you didn’t get a promotion either! :( You are a much smarter marketer now and you want to better track your initiatives, assess what channel is performing and fix what is not performing. You are planning all sorts of marketing activities: offline: TV and newspaper ads; online: paid Search, email, banners, social media, and others.

You have your messaging, promotions, copy, creative, and landing pages all ready, and soon you will go live and you have a week to figure out this “tracking, measurement and analytics” business!

No worries! Google Analytics and this post have come to the rescue!!

In this post I will walk you through a process of how to plan and implement a comprehensive external campaign tracking.

Assumptions:

  • You have Google Analytics implemented on your site
  • You have a basic familiarity with URL tagging
  • Last but not least this post also assumes that you are ready and willing to be proactive and you do care about analytics and campaign ROI :)

Prerequisite: Structure & Naming Convention

As you know, the sole purpose of tagging is to differentiate between the different ads and campaigns you are running, so it is very important to agree on the structure and the naming convention as a first step. Here is an example:

As you can see from the chart above, we are running different online and offline ads for our Mother’s Day campaign. In the next section, we are going to tag all these ad’s links with the campaign variables using the URL Builder tool provided by Google.

Email

Email campaigns are one of the most effective ways of attracting visitors to your site especially existing clients. If we don’t tag the emails links with the right campaign tags, visits from emails will be attributed as referral or direct traffic.

How do we tag email links?

  1. Use the URL Builder or CampaignAlyzer to create tagged links
  2. Enter the following variables into the URL builder:
    Website URL: http://www.store.com/
    Campaign Source: newsletter-april
    Campaign Medium: email
    Campaign Name: Mother’s Day 2010
  3. Use the generated link URL in your email (ex. “Visit the Store” button”)

Banner

We will follow the same tagging steps that we used for email campaign to tag our banner campaign:

  1. Use the URL Builder or CampaignAlyzer to create tagged links
  2. Enter the following variables into the URL builder:
    Website URL: http://www.store.com/
    Campaign Source: oprah.com
    Campaign Medium: banner
    Campaign Name: Mother’s Day 2010
  3. Use the generated link URL in your banner (ex. “Shop Now” button”)

Twitter

Social media today is reshaping the online marketing landscape. People are using YouTube, Facebook, Flicker, and Twitter for more than just personal updates and video/picture exchange. There is a huge amount of promotion and branding taking place in these sites and our job in this post is to measure the success of these marketing efforts.

Let’s use Twitter for our Mother’s Day campaign and make sure we tag all links to our site with the proper campaign variables.

How do we tag Twitter links?

  1. Use the URL Builder or CampaignAlyzer to create tagged links
  2. Enter the following variables into the URL builder:
    Website URL: http://www.store.com/
    Campaign Source: twitter
    Campaign Medium: social media
    Campaign Name: Mother’s Day 2010
  3. Shorten the generated link URL using any URL shortening tools (I usually use bit.ly)
  4. Tweet about your promotion using the tiny URL

Paid Search – Google

Thanks God that Google AdWords and Google Analytics are cousins and integrate very well together! Google AdWords has a nice feature called auto-tagging which makes it easy for us to see AdWords campaign information in our Google Analytics reports without any manually tagging.

To learn more about auto-tagging visit this help topic.

How do we enable auto-tagging?

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account
  2. Click on My account tab and select Account preferences
  3. Under Tracking section, click Edit
  4. Check the Destination URL Auto-tagging checkbox
  5. Click “Save changes”

Paid Search – Yahoo

Unlike AdWords, to track Yahoo paid traffic we need to manually tag the destination URL with the campaign variables.

  1. Tag your yahoo ad link using the following variables:
    Website URL: http://www.store.com/
    Campaign Source: yahoo
    Campaign Medium: cpc
    Campaign Term: {OVKey}
    Campaign Name: Mother’s Day 2010
  2. Use the tagged URL for the “Destination URL” field

Paid Search – Bing

Similar to what we did with Yahoo ads, but with the following variables:

  • Website URL: http://www.store.com/
  • Campaign Source: bing
  • Campaign Medium: cpc
  • Campaign Term: {QueryString}
  • Campaign Name: Mother’s Day 2010

Tracking Offline Campaigns

When we talk about tracking campaigns, it is not enough to focus only on online campaigns. We have to include the offline campaigns in our reports for complete analysis. In this section, I will share with you one method of tracking your offline campaigns in Google Analytics in 2 simple steps:

  1. In your offline ads, refer visitors to a page that is unique to the campaign; [www.store.com/mother]
  2. Tag all visitors to the unique page with the campaign variables [source, medium, & campaign name]

How to tag all visitors to www.store.com/mother with the campaign variables?

We will assume that all visitors to the unique landing page [www.store.com/mother] are coming from a specific offline campaign let say the USA Today newspaper. When the USA Today visitors request the promotion URL and before we fire the Google Analytics code, we will refresh the landing page using meta-refresh tag, which update the URL with the campaign UTMs. When The Google Analytics code gets executed after the page refresh, it will see the URL with the campaign UTMs attached to it and will attribute the visit as desired.

How do we tag destination URLs?

  1. Go to the URL Builder
  2. Enter the following variables into the URL builder:
    Website URL: http://www.store.com/mother
    Campaign Source: usa-today
    Campaign Medium: newspaper
    Campaign Name: Mother’s Day 2010
  3. Add the following code to the header of landing page before the Google Analytics tracking code

    <head>
    <link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.store.com/mother” />
    <meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”1;URL=http://www.store.com/?utm_source=usa-today&utm_medium=newspaper&utm_campaign=Mother’s%2BDay%202010″>
    </head>

Analyzing the data:

Now as we had all tags in place, it is time for deep dive analysis into the “Mother’s Day 2010″ campaign. I suggest that you isolate the campaigns’ visits by using advanced custom segment and look at this unique segment across reports.

Creating Custom Advanced Segmentation

  1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account
  2. Advanced Segments > Create a new advanced segment
  3. Add the following dimensions:

Viewing Reports (Show me the money!!)

Now, you are ready to conduct analysis based on the customized segment. You can look at the traffic sources report and see how many people purchased and from which medium:

From the first look at the ecommerce numbers above, we can confirm that:

  • The TV campaign has the highest conversion rate
  • The newspaper campaign was not as effective as other campaigns
  • Social media has the highest ROI (Return on Investment)

Click on the dropdown menu below for more marketing campaign tagging examples.

If you like this exercise and you were able to extract some valuable insights for your business, apply the same concept for the upcoming Father’s Day, which is on June 20th here in the US and do a comparison between the users’ purchasing behavior in these two very special occasions.

Share your findings and happy analyzing and drop us a comment below!

Notes:

  • For advanced users and those interested in multi-channel attribution, you can make use of the the Multiple Custom Variables (MCV) feature in Google Analytics
  • If you are running social media and online viral marketing activities and you are active in blogging, on Twitter and Facebook, you should include “off-site” measurements in your overall campaign analysis. In addition, be sure to dedicate resources to listen and participate in the social conversations around your brand, products and campaigns

Related Posts

Mar 01
2010

It’s March 1st already, my goodness, I am already so behind on things I want to do in the first quarter! And this week it’s going to be busier since I’ll be attending & presenting at SMX West. But it’s worth every bit of it. The folks at SMX have assembled a great line up of speakers on all-things search (and yes, some analytics too).

For those of you attending SMX West, I’d love to meet and catch up. In addition to attending and taking notes at the various sessions, here is where I’ll definitely be networking or speaking: :)

  • Monday 3/1, 6pm-7:30pm: Meet & Greet reception
  • Tuesday 3/2, 5:45pm-7:00pm: Expo Hall Reception
  • Thursday 3/4, 11:30am-12:30pm: Measuring How Search Ads Drive Offline Conversions – Q&A Moderator
  • Thursday 3/4, 12:30pm-1:30pm: Birds-of-a-Feather Analytics Table (lunch)
  • Thursday 3/4, 1:30pm-2:30pm: Analytics Action Plans For PPC & SEO – Q&A Moderator
  • Thursday 3/4, 2:45pm-3:45pm: Conversion Ninja Toolbox – A Review of Tools & Technologies – Speaker
  • Friday 3/5, 9am-5pm: Google Analytics Workshop – Presenter

To our clients: many of us at E-Nor will also participate in parts of the conference and we plan to absorb as much as we can, pick some golden nuggets here and there and take it all back and continue to enhance our processes and add more value for our clients.

Thanks,
Feras

Feb 25
2009

Integrating lead information from one system such as Google Adwords into a CRM like Salesforce is definitely not a new topic, especially since the Salesforce-Google Adwords integration has been announced for a while now.

I want to highlight the steps required for a seamless integration, as well as a few additional pro-active steps you want to take to keep your Google Analytics data clean. The same concept would apply to other analytics tools you might be running. As Avinash always reminds us, data accuracy is always one of the biggest challenges in web analytics.

Here are my steps:

  1. Create Adwords and Salesforce accounts.
  2. Link Google AdWords with Salesforce.
  3. Exclude SalesForce parameters from Google Analytics.
  4. Set up AdWords lead tracking.
  5. View report.

1) Create Adwords and Salesforce accounts

You need to have a Google AdWords account and a Salesforce account before you can integrate them.

2) Link Google AdWords with Salesforce

  • In Salesforce, click the Google AdWords Setup tab.

  • Enter your AdWords customer ID and login e-mail.

3) Exclude SalesForce Parameters from Google Analytics

When Salesforce performs its integration with AdWords, it appends parameters (_kk and _kt) to all destination URLs in your AdWords account. We suggest that you strip these query parameters out of URL to insure no duplicate entries in your Top Content report.

To strip the query parameters, please follow these steps:

*A note for AdWords managers. Keep in mind that when Salesforce appends the destination URLs with its _kk parameters, this is actually “editing” your AdWords ads and the stats associated with these ads will now reset, according to how Google AdWords works.

4) Set up AdWords Lead Tracking

  1. Back in SalesForce, click on the Google AdWords Setup tab.
  2. Click on the “Set up Lead Tracking” button.

i – Create a Web-to-Lead Form

  • Click on the “Create Web-to-Lead Form” button

  • Add the form to your page
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-type" CONTENT="text/html;
charset=UTF-8">
.
.
.
<form action="https://www.salesforce.com/servlet/servlet.WebToLead?
encoding=UTF-8" method="POST">

<input type=hidden name="oid" value="xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx">

<input type=hidden name="retURL"
value="http://www.mysite.com/thankyou.html">

<label for="first_name">First Name</label><input id="first_name"
maxlength="40" name="first_name" size="20" type="text" /><br>

<label for="last_name">Last Name</label><input id="last_name"
maxlength="80" name="last_name" size="20" type="text" /><br>

<label for="email">Email</label><input id="email" maxlength="80"
name="email" size="20" type="text" /><br>

<input type="submit" name="submit">
</form>

ii – Add the Salesforce Tracking Code to the Website

Typescript,Computer Graphic,Text,Single Word,Article,Newspaper Headline,Information Medium,Newspaper,Printed Media,Print Media,The Media,Folded,Report,Business,Finance,Banking,Document,Paper,Printing Out,Printout,Print

Add the following tracking code to every page of your site right before the </BODY> tag

<!-- Begin Salesforce Tracking Code -->
<SCRIPT type="text/javascript" src="https://lct.salesforce.com/sfga.js">
</SCRIPT>
<SCRIPT type="text/javascript">__sfga();</SCRIPT>
<!-- End Salesforce Tracking Code -->

iii – Test Your SalesForce installation

By clicking the “Test your Setup” you will be able to test the installation of the codes in step i and ii

5) View report

This report gives an overview of the leads submitted to SalesForce from your website

For more detailed information, click on each lead and learn more about the lead source

Jan 13
2009

You are working on your site’s SEO by publishing press releases and you wish to track traffic to your site from those press releases.  You are not adding source campaign parameters (and therefore no campaign parameters at all) to your links because you are not sure which sites will pick up your press release.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

In Google Analytics, you noticed that links from press releases are tracked as:

  • Source = cnn.com, bbc.co.uk, or domain.com
  • Medium = referral
  • Campaign = (not set)

I am sure you are not satisfied with this basic level of tracking because it does not tell you much, especially if you wish to track across different campaigns and mediums.

The following example makes more sense and will help you evaluate and analyze your campaigns.

  • Source = cnn.com
  • Medium = press_release
  • Campaign = hurricane_katrina

To overcome this challenge of tagging links from unknown sources, I came up with the following trick.

Algorithm:

  • Add a parameter on all links to your site that are in the press release. (example: http://www.mysite.com/myfile.html#id=1)
  • On the target page (http://www.mysite.com/myfile.html), check the value of the “id” parameter.
  • If the “id” parameter equals “1″, replace the parameter in the URL with the following utm parameters (utm_source, utm_medium and utm_campaign) before the call to pageTracker.
  • If the “id” parameter does not equal 1, call the pageTracker function normally.

View the entire code segment.

Let us explore the code, section by section:

var parameter = get_parameter('id');

function get_parameter(name)
{
name = name.replace(/[\[]/,"\\\[").replace(/[\]]/,"\\\]");
var regexS = "[\\?&#]"+name+"=([^&#]*)";
var regex = new RegExp(regexS);
var results = regex.exec(window.location.href);

if( results == null )
  return "";
else
  return results[1];
}

This portion of the code will return the value of the “id” parameter from the URL and assign it to the “parameter” variable.

if (parameter == '1')
{
window.location.hash = "utm_source="+srcPage+"
&utm_medium=press_release&utm_campaign=hurricane_katrina";
}

If the page url contains the “id” parameter and its value is 1, then the url will be updated with the utm parameters.

Link URL
http://www.mysite.com/myfile.html#id=1

New URL
http://www.mysite.com/myfile.html#utm_source=www.cnn.com&utm_medium=press_release&utm_campaign=hurricane_katrina

* Notice that we did not use window.location.href function because this function will re load the page with the new URL, which is not what we want to happen. We just want to update the URL, without affecting the visitor experience, in order for the Google Analytics tracking code to attribute the visit in a certain way.

How to get the value of the utm_source (referral site)?

var srcPage = getDomain (document.referrer);

function getDomain (thestring)
{
var urlpattern = new RegExp("(http|ftp|https)://(.*?)/.*$");
var parsedurl = thestring.match(urlpattern);
return parsedurl[2];
}

This portion of the code is responsible of assigning the URL of the referral site to the variable scrPage. The “getDomain” function parses only the domain name (www.domain.com) out of the long url string (http://www.doman.com/file.html?parameter=abc)

The last piece of code that needs to be added is the setAllowAnchor command, which allows the # sign to be used as a query string delimiter instead of the question mark (?).

We used # in the press release link instead of ? for SEO reasons, but you could use ? in the original link and still use the above method.

pageTracker._setAllowAnchor(true);

Alright, now it is time to use our friend Advanced Segments to track our press release visitors, measure their engagement, and analyze their behavior.

Now we can really analyze! :)

Jan 02
2009

Questions I always hear with regards to SEO and marketing optimization:

  • How does Google Analytics improve my search engine optimization (SEO)?
  • How can I get more out of my SEO?
  • What is the real effect of ranking on search engines for my business?

I am hoping the case study below will shed some light on these questions. If you apply a similar analysis you can help your customer, manager, or whoever is delaying your SEO effort. But instead of answering “the importance of ranking” question, maybe something more quantifiable and measurable might get your decision makers’ attention! How about “how does ranking on a specific keyword, or lack thereof, impact the bottom line?” Answering such questions will help us make the most of our marketing spend during these tough economic times and help us do a more effective job in marketing and campaign optimization.

I’ll use real time data and analysis but won’t mention the name of the website for privacy reasons. Here are the details:

  • Website type: eCommerce
  • The website used to rank near the top of Google on two competitive keywords until August 2008.
  • Historically, these two keywords have driven traffic to the site. For a specific time period, these two keywords drove 5,684 visits and led to 46 conversions for a 0.81% conversion rate.

If you have your Google Analytics eCommerce features properly configured and working, the above data is easily accessible under the Traffic Sources -> Search Engines -> Non-paid report. The inline filter was used to get data for just these two keywords.

  • We then start examining the time period when the ranking for these two keywords took a big hit.
  • Next, using the date comparison function in Google Analytics, we compared the traffic generated by these two keywords for this year with poor ranking versus last year with better ranking. Here is the result:

The table on the left is for one of their keywords and the table on the right is for the other. As you can see, a significant drop in visits in 2008, 4471 to be exact. So the negative impact of the drop in SEO ranking was less opportunities to make sales on their primary keywords!

  • The 4471 visits might be a small percentage of the overall website traffic but when you put a dollar sign next to it, we typically react to it more quickly. Take the 4471 visits and multiply it by your average conversion rate for these keywords, which is 0.81%, and then multiply by the average order value, which is $846.
  • 4471 x 0.0081 = 36 lost sales
  • 36 x $846 = $30,456 of lost revenue!

Now one can argue that this number is not accurate because of many factors BUT the findings are very actionable! If I were to present this analysis to my boss or client, I would add 2-3 other scenarios:

  • Scenario 1, with a higher conversion rate of 1.62% after improving the design and usability of the site, the lost revenue would be $60,852. (ouch!)
  • Scenario 2, with a lower average order value and the existing conversion rate of 0.81%, our lost revenue would have been $15,228.
  • You could create a table to show the range. The main point is that there was between $15K and $60K of lost revenue. In tough economic times, wouldn’t you rather have that revenue?

Depending on your company size, marketing budget, and other factors, the $30K might be a significant number or it might be a rounding error. But at the end of the day, $30K of lost revenue is $30K of lost revenue, especially in times like these where cutting cost and marketing optimization is more important than ever. By doing similar analysis, you can find other lost sales opportunities, monetize them, and get some corrective actions underway.

I think you can take this analysis to a business owner or marketing manager, and I am pretty sure they would get the SEO effort prioritized.

Dec 12
2008

In September of this year, Yahoo! announced the formation of a Digital Advisory Council to drive discussions with advertisers. Our agency was invited and we welcomed the invitation to listen to what Yahoo had to say and provide some feedback. Our office being literally less than ten minutes away made the decision a little bit easier!

During the meeting we were told that we are under an NDA so I won’t go into the specifics.  But here are some comments and thoughts:

  • We applaud Yahoo’s efforts to be open, reach out to their clients (advertisers and agencies), and solicit their input. That spirit was felt throughout the council meeting, from the Senior VP that hosted the event to managers and other Yahoo staff.  They really wanted to be transparent and sought input from us.  Good job, Yahoo!
  • Despite the poor picture that might have been portrayed in the news about Yahoo and search, we were reminded that Yahoo! is still a profitable company and has some very high traffic sites, including Yahoo! Sports (we were told it has more traffic than ESPN) and Yahoo! News (gets more traffic than CNN).  I didn’t know that and I would say it is pretty impressive!
  • Various folks from Yahoo! presented about new features and innovations (sorry, can’t blog about it yet :( ) but expect to hear from Yahoo! on areas they are strong in, including Display (banner) Advertisement.
  • There was a talk about Traffic Quality and the favorite discussion topic of click fraud.  Without spilling their beans, we got a better picture of how Yahoo! handles click fraud and also learned that you can get reports from within your Yahoo! Search marketing account about credits your accounts is getting for false clicks.
  • Lunch was really good too, including the Israeli Couscous which was very tasty!  To be fair, I have to say that the food in Mountain View during the GAAC Summit was really good too.

So in summary, I am really glad to see Yahoo! opening up and creating additional forums to communicate with advertisers and agencies.

While we are on the subject of Yahoo! Search Marketing, there is another topic that we have been wanting to blog about but didn’t get to until now.  Yahoo! has a mechanism of optimizing your accounts and campaigns on their own! Yes, that means without your
knowledge.  Maybe this is not so recent but many clients I speak with are still not aware of this mechanism, so it is important that we share it. The following was drafted by a couple of folks in the office:


We hope you are aware of Yahoo’s decision to optimize PPC accounts by creating optimized campaigns on their own and running them without checking with the client. As strange as this may sound, it is very true! For a regular advertiser who doesn’t tag his campaigns and review them in any analytics tool, this may not be that bad. For those who do tag their campaigns and review all of their traffic sources and conversions via an analytics tool, this could be trouble.

Yahoo does the whole nine yards when it comes to campaign creation (naming convention, ad group, keywords, ad copy) but they miss a very crucial step. They don’t tag the campaign at all with tracking parameters so a web analytics tool can recognize it as PPC traffic. This means traffic from this new campaign will be recorded as organic traffic and will dilute the quality of your data. The number of visits attributed to Yahoo cpc and Yahoo organic will be wrong, and conversion rates for these two sources will be subject to speculation.

There are two ways that you can deal with this issue:

  1. If you would like to try these optimized campaigns and see how they will perform while capturing the data properly in your analytics account, you need to go to your Ads under the AdGroup they created and make sure that you tag the destination URLs properly. If you are using Google Analytics, here is a good post from our friends at PPC Hero that will help you.
  2. Otherwise, once you see a new optimized campaign in your account, pause or delete it and make sure that you opt-out from this service. You can opt-out by submitting a request to Yahoo customer support.

If you have too many campaigns in your own or your client’s accounts, the easiest way to spot the Yahoo optimized campaigns is by their naming convention. See the below snapshot for an example.


My request to Yahoo! is that they back out of this practice and allow user more control before they turn campaigns on and spend someone else’s money!

Dec 01
2008

Here at E-Nor, we recently completed a project for the The Learning Community (TLC), which happens to be a collection of links to informational websites, articles, and videos based on different subjects that affect child development.  Their mission – to provide that “children’s manual” parents never seem to receive with the baby!

The project initially started in December of 2007 as a conversion of their original pure HTML site to Dotnetnuke (open-source Content Management System), but ended up turning into a significant redesign and restructuring project.

The services we provided were:

  • Basic online marketing consultation
  • Creating a new, brighter aesthetic look.
  • Implementing a different site-structure based on our understanding of their users flow.  (We also took some tips from their more successful and professional competitors, such as the commercial magazine www.parenting.com)
  • Improving their SEO (Search Engine Optimization) by cleaning up their meta tags and recommending some content enhancements. Their site is now on the first page of Google for some keywords when previously it was nowhere to be found.
  • Helping promote their videos on Youtube.
  • Cleaning up their Google Analytics setup to properly track where visitors are coming from, which external sites they are going to, and which PDFs they are downloading.

Oh yah, I forgot to mention the project was done PRO BONO. We had a great working relationship with the client, in that any work we recommended, if they could find volunteers to implement, they did, which saved us time.  Any technical implementation we could throw in, we did, and they practically understood that since the work was pro bono, it would take priority accordingly with respect to our other projects.

E-Nor encourages our clients, partners, and blog readers to support non-profits.  Though altruism may already be inline with your corporate and personal values, a year’s worth of pro-bono work may scare even the most giving of companies and people.  However, here are some benefits you may not have considered (in no particular order):

  1. Necessity is the mother of innovation. The nature of non-profits is that their revenue is limited yet they provide great services to the community. Thus, they may require strong functions for their site. You’ll be forced to learn valuable work-arounds when their budget may not cover high end modules or spending, giving you great ideas for options when you need to close a sale with those paying clients who are a little tighter with their money.
  2. Practice makes perfect. Just like anything you do in life, the more you do it the better you will get. You can chalk this pro bono run as practice. For us, TLC being a year project, it strengthened and even expanded our research on techniques, functions, modules, etc, that we can now apply to all our sites!
  3. A non-profit “word-of-mouth” could still lead to profit. We know that as technology evolves, so does marketing. If Google has taught us anything, free services and products actually go a long way in branding and exposure, and could result in lucrative opportunities in the future. Non-profits do have friends that could end up being your paying clients with the right referral. And because your existing relationship had no financial motives, the trust and rapport has already been built.
  4. Had a bad day? They’ll pick you up. For all those clients who didn’t see the extra work you did for them and who complained instead of showing gratitude, you could expect the opposite for your non-profit pro bono clients. They can’t help but see the void you filled for them and be grateful for it.
  5. Testimonials. Along the same lines as the above, a testimonial will virtually be an everyday occurrence if you’re doing your job right.
  6. Pat yourself on the back.  You did a good deed! Because of the site you provided for a parenting non-profit or a domestic violence shelter, a lost parent now has a little bit of direction or a helpless victim is a little bit safer.
  7. Experimentation (with the permission of the client). Since your client doesn’t have dollars riding on this project, they are more likely to allow you to do light experimentation on it, within reason of course. Not only are they more comfortable since no hard earned grant money is at risk, but that also means there’s a more flexible timeline for you to play with the site. For example, if you see a new module you wanted to try or your organization is new to analytics and you need a site to try it on, especially if the end result could possibly benefit your client, non-profit free sites may in fact welcome experimentation. Don’t forget to back up, though!