Let’s just face it –

Creating an engaging ecommerce site is challenging. There are a lot of moving parts involved, and without a good strategy, all your efforts will amount to nothing.

Luckily, there are several tactics you can use to create a more engaging ecommerce site. In fact, you might actually already be utilizing some of them. But out of all the great strategies you could focus on, there are 5 surefire strategies to get you to the finish line faster and more effectively. And then from there, you can build on to other areas of focus.

In this blog post, I’m going to run through the 5 foolproof strategies you need to help you start your ecommerce marketing on the right foot.

Target Your Existing Customers

Any good ecommerce marketer knows that increasing engagement on your site often starts with the customers you already have in your fan base. So while you probably want to jump straight to marketing your ecommerce business to new subscribers, your marketing strategy is only going to work if you focus on reconverting the customers you’ve already converted.

But why is targeting repeat customers so important?

Well, for one, existing customers are cheaper to reconvert. I mean think about it. They are more loyal to you and chances are if they’ve already bought your stuff once, it will be easier to get them to buy again.

What’s more, repeat customers typically spend more than first-time visitors. In fact, according to Bain, return customers spend 67% more
than new customers.

However, customers have become a lot pickier, so simply having a solid marketing strategy won’t do. You need to do more. They want to feel valued and appreciated. That’s why it’s important to focus on ways to improve the experience for the customers you already have.

Now, this is easier said than done, especially considering that no two customers are the same. But that’s nothing that a little research can’t remedy. And as always, the devil is in the details when building a foundation for your marketing strategy for your ecommerce site. So you should ensure you know your customers. Data analytics lets you know everything from their hobbies and demographic information to what they need and their interests and values so that you can customize your products to suit their needs.

But don’t just stop at finding out what your customers want. Follow up with them and listen to their feedback too. It’s the best way to find out how to improve the customer experience.

Use Trust Marks and Badges

While it may not seem like it, trust badges are an important thing to consider when marketing your ecommerce business. You may say,” I have a ton of customers regardless of the fact that I don’t utilize trust badges”. Yes, but let’s not forget that engagement has a lot to do with perception. Think about it: with all the fraud cases there have been, would you engage with a business that doesn’t seem credible?

Probably not. And neither will your customers.

The truth is, the more credible your site looks, the more people will be encouraged to engage with you further. So when you’re creating a site with the purpose of converting customers and creating more engagement, you need to think about trust badges.

Ideally, you could incorporate a money back guarantee to reassure your customers about purchasing a product. You could also have trust seals to reassure the customer that their information is safe and secure whenever they are sharing it on your site.

Add Video to Your Product Pages

In ecommerce, videos are everything. Sure, images do so much for ecommerce but video can do even more. Don’t believe me?

YouTube currently has 1.5 million active users who visit the site every month. And Facebook Video is growing even more rapidly. So while images and great content are no doubt a winner, video is dominating online marketing as we know it.

So why is adding videos to your product pages so important?

If you look at statistics, people spend 2.6 times more on websites with video than those without. So it makes perfect sense to incorporate videos to your product pages to get more engagement.

Also, videos instill trust in customers. The truth is customers are more inclined to buy what they can see. And adding a video is by far the best way to bring your products to life. But it doesn’t end there. Videos also help customers see the product in real time too.

Offer Sales and Discounts When it Makes Sense

It’s no secret that sales and discounts have always been a staple in promotions. However, in the ecommerce realm, sales and discounts are more than just a purchase incentive. They act as a way to bait and engage your subscribers.

Here are some powerful reasons to offer discounts and sales:

First, everyone loves discounts. So whether you simply want to delight your customers or surprise them all together, discounts and sales are the perfect way to win your customers’ hearts.

Plus, not only will this spike traffic on your site, but it will also considerably increase engagement.

Also, discounts are a sort of customer appreciation. Your customers have been there for you since the inception of your business. They’ve been buying stuff and following all your products. The most tangible reward for loyalty is discounted prices.

Boost Engagement Using Consumer Psychology

Why does it always seem like no matter what you do, you’re still not attracting as many customers as you’d want?

The answer, you’re not tapping into the human psychology aspect of marketing. Even if you time your social posts right, use the right keywords and pump out content, at the end of the day, you have to appeal to people’s emotions and needs. So perhaps it’s time to tweak your strategy.

The idea is simple: scents, surfaces, and colors have a lot to do with decision making and our propensity to purchase products. So it’s important to think about the psychology of your customers when developing a marketing strategy: what makes them tick, and what’s ultimately going to drive them to make a purchase?

One of the most powerful motivators for ecommerce is the concept of scarcity.

There’s something about scarcity that triggers a strong reaction. It could be the fear of missing out, or the fear that we might regret not making the decision in time. If you look at Black Friday, you’ll realize that Amazon and other ecommerce stores sell more items during Black Friday than at any other time.

While some of the purchase decisions have to do with the fact that the products are sold at a much cheaper price, a lot of it has to do with scarcity. Once Black Friday is over, then what? Probably no more amazing items on sale. Making an item scarce gives people an incentive to act fast so as not to miss out.

For boosting engagement, you may also consider sending your customers cart abandonment messages. For whatever reason, customers may or may not check out items from the cart. But that doesn’t mean that you should abandon them.

You should send them cart abandonment messages to reconnect with them and make them see the value of what you have to offer. It might not get them to finish the purchase process, but it will make them feel valued. That feeling might be enough to entice them to come back.


Ecommerce has become bigger than ever right now. And more people are finding themselves shopping online than at a physical store. So it’s safe to say that it’s the place to be if you want your business to take off.

However, simply having an ecommerce store alone won’t cut it. The ecommerce space is extremely volatile and the competition even more so. So you need a great ecommerce marketing strategy if you’re going to be successful.

Consider targeting repeat customers and offering discounts and you will see a considerable increase in engagement. Also, try using the human psychology aspect of marketing and using videos to increase traffic and engagement.

About the Author

Kate Lynch is a digital marketing and business blogger who spends her entire day writing quality blogs. She is a passionate reader and loves to share quality content prevalent on the web with her friends and followers and keeping a keen eye on the latest trends and news in those industries. Currently, she is associated with OmniSend, an e-commerce marketing automation platform built for growing e-commerce businesses. Follow her on twitter @IamKateLynch for more updates.

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In addition to guest posting on the UpCity blog, Insignia SEO is featured as one of the Top Digital Marketing Agencies in the United States. Check out their profile here.

If you’re producing content for a website, then presumably your primary goal is to get as many views for that content as possible. Once you’ve secured the attention of your visitors, then your content should convince them to do whatever it is that your business model dictates.

If you’re running an e-commerce site, you’ll be trying to get them to buy your products. You might want them to subscribe to your social media platforms, or perhaps sign up for your email marketing list. Whatever the case might be, though, it would be a critical mistake to ignore user intent.

What is User Intent?

Simply put, user intent refers to the reason a visitor came to your site. They might be there to get some information, in which case they’ll be headed to your FAQ section, or possibly they’ll want to read one of your blogs. If they’ve come to buy something from you then they’ll go straight to your product pages. If they have a question that your FAQ section doesn’t cover, then they’re likely looking for your contact information.

Analytics Can Reveal User Intent

If you feel like user intent shouldn’t have anything to do with your SEO strategy, then you need to reassess the situation. Not everyone is going to come to your website for the same reason, but you can assume that the majority will have the same idea in mind.

It’s helpful to use analytics to determine user intent. Whichever platform you’re running for your site is going to have many analytics features, and you should quickly learn how to use them if you haven’t done so yet. Analytics will show you how people are behaving on your site, and that will go a long way toward telling you their intentions.

Create a Customer Profile

Compiling a customer profile can also help you where user intent is concerned. You can think of your customer profile as a compilation of everything you’ve learned about the people who are purchasing your products.

No two of your customers are going to be identical, but the majority of them are going to fit into certain categories as it relates to age, gender, ethnicity, income bracket, geographic region, etc. Your customer profile is going to be directly related to whatever it is you’re selling. If you’re selling bras, for instance, then the overwhelming majority of your customers are probably going to be female.

Use Your Social Media

There are different ways for you to create a customer profile. The most obvious way is to ask your customers directly. One way you can do it is through your social media accounts. Ask your followers on Twitter, Facebook, etc. questions about themselves. You can incentivize it by offering them a prize or an exclusive discount on one of your products. To create a sense of urgency, mention that they can only claim the prize if they answer the question during the next 24-hour period. If you’re offering a discount, you should only make it usable for the next couple of days.

Website Surveys

You can also set up surveys for your customers to take on your website. Again, the idea is to learn as much about them as you can, and you can offer something of value, sometimes referred to as a “value proposition,” that will encourage them to give you details about themselves, their lives, and their habits. There are different services that you can use that will create a survey for you, or you can create one yourself if you or someone on your staff has the requisite skill set.

Modify Your Website Once You Have Your Customer Profile

Once you have your customer profile, you can modify your SEO strategy. Let’s say that you’ve determined that the majority of your customers are dog owners. You can post some blogs about dog ownership on your site, or you can mention that you’re partnering with a local animal shelter for an adoption event. You can spread the word using your social media too.

Concentrate on Local SEO

If your business is smaller and you feel like you’ve determined user intent for most of your site visitors, it’s likely that local SEO is going to become a huge part of your strategy. If your website is for a large national chain, then you won’t use these techniques. If you want to become known within a specific locale, though, then your SEO strategy is going to require a two-pronged approach.

First, you’re going to want to optimize your content with plenty of keywords having to do with the town, city, or state in which you are located. Second, you’ll want to refine your content so that your typical customer can find what they were looking for quickly and easily once they arrive at your site. This leads us to the subject of UX, or user experience.

UX is the Final Piece of the Puzzle

You now know about your typical customer, and you know the likeliest reason they’ve come to your website. Your next job is to make it as easy as possible for them to get to what they need.

You should structure your website in such a way that there is no confusion when your customers arrive at your landing page. There should be no distracting graphics, and it should take no more than two clicks for your customer to find the blog, product page, or whatever else is most important to them.

This is even more vital in the case that they are using your mobile site. Your loading speed should be lightning-quick, and there should be no distracting pop-up ads. Knowing user intent is one thing, but poor UX means that your visitors will leave your sales funnel without converting.

User Intent and SEO Strategy are Directly Linked

To put it as bluntly as possible, you’re going to lose business if you don’t take user intent into account when you’re planning out your SEO strategy. If you set up your site without creating customer profiles, using your analytics tools, strategic keyword usage, link building, etc., then your competitors are likely to poach some of your customers. User intent should dictate even the smallest details of your website structure and content.

Rolando Herrera

Rolando Herrera is a marketing executive and entrepreneur that enjoys helping people and businesses grow their concepts. He’s worked with companies like Disney, Boston Market, and many others and helped them deliver concepts that connect with consumers. His expertise is in branding and digital marketing strategies that use social media, organic marketing, content marketing, and paid search advertising as the concepts vehicle.

He’s passionate about online marketing and teaching others how to “hack the internet” so that it works to their advantage and brings them the traffic and money to fund and grow the dream. One of his favorite sayings is that ” A million-dollar idea is worth nothing if you can’t bridge that idea to an audience.” He currently resides in Austin, Texas and enjoys the up and coming technological community there.

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For marketing service providers hoping to stay competitive, maintaining appropriate pricing is essential. These days there is no shortage of snake oil salesmen waiting to undercut your price, and putting yourself in a race to the bottom will only hurt your profit margin and your reputation.

Putting yourself in a race to the bottom will only hurt your profit margin and your reputation. Click To Tweet

In this week’s “From the Ground Up” interview, we are chatting with Rolando Herrera from Insignia SEO, an UpCity Certified Premium partner and one of the top digital marketing agencies in the United States. Below we discuss how Insignia SEO got its start, how they intelligently price their services in today’s market, and more!

Q: Tell me a little about your company and how it got its start.

A: Our company got started as the evolution of another brand. Until 2012, we were called Business Network Designs and we resold tech services in Miami. When we saw that out of all our services the ones that sold the most were SEO and website design, our company completely shifted. We started off with Wix at that time, since it was very popular, and got off the ground with do-it-yourself projects.

Eventually, of course, we brought in a development team, people that had a higher level of expertise. In addition, we grew our SEO business and that has somewhat become our main service over the course of the last six or seven years. We focus mostly on the Austin market, but we also have salespeople in different markets across the country and agencies that resell our services as well.

Q: You mentioned that you’ve partnered with agencies that actually resell your services. How has that played into your company’s growth thus far?

A: What usually happens is we get approached by an agency that doesn’t have the team members or staff to take on an SEO project. Their clients have asked for it, and so they come to us to do it on their behalf. It’s easier for them to mark up and white-label our services than it is for them to hire a full SEO team. Other times, it might just be cheaper for them to hire us in a reseller capacity than service the client locally. In Austin, we might be able to service a client for half of what it would cost in New York City, simply based on the cost of living.

Overall, it’s complementary to our growth efforts. We have a handful of agencies working with us on a consistent basis and if more leads come in for this type of reseller work, we’re happy to take it on. The client relationships are managed by them and we bring in new business without much marketing or sales expenditure. It’s definitely not the bulk of our business, maybe 15% or so, but it’s a nice piece to have.

Q: You bring up a great point about how prices can fluctuate based on operational costs. When it comes to pricing, how do you ensure that you stay competitive while also maintaining a stable profit margin?

A: We try to stay consistent with our price points. We look at our margins internally and determine prices based on those margins. What do we need in order to make this project happen? What do we need to find a certain level of profitability? Our projects are month-to-month, which helps us keep a higher acquisition rate than most out there, but it also means we need to be extra cost-conscious.

We package our services strategically and adjust prices as necessary (usually quarterly). In order to do this, we need to know what each service offering costs, the ROI it can produce, etc. This allows us to scale intelligently and adjust prices based on our margins, not market fluctuations. These prices stay the same regardless of the location of the client so a client in NYC will pay the same as a client in LA who will pay the same as a client in the middle of nowhere in Montana.

Our prices are based on our operating costs, not what our competition charges. There’s always going to be people that try to undercut you. That’s a variable that’s uncontrollable and you can’t worry about that. Worry about what you can do for your business and what makes sense for your pricing.

Q: One of the things that really struck me about your agency was not only the number of reviews you have across the web but also the overwhelmingly positive nature of those reviews. How important would you say recommendability is to your company?

A: If you look us up online, whether it’s through Google or UpCity or Yelp, it doesn’t matter, you’ll see positive reviews. That’s because we’ve actively worked to generate reviews from our happiest clients. We identify the clients that are most satisfied and request reviews at strategic moments.

I’d say a large portion of someone’s buying decision is based on whether they trust you or not. It’s extremely important that a potential client feels that you’ll be able to help them achieve their goals, and one of the best ways to convince them is to let their friends and family do the convincing for you. Being recommended or referred is going to get you to a higher close rate, a higher conversion rate.

Beyond reviews though, our own SEO efforts have been huge for us in terms of building credibility. We can go to a client and say “We show up on the first page for ‘Austin Seo’.” To some clients that doesn’t matter, but to most, it shows that we know what we’re doing. They can see the results of our work first hand and they can read from our reviews the type of relationship they should expect.

Obviously, not every business is a good fit for our agency. We try and get a feel for fit from the very first conversation. It’s not about selling someone a service, it’s about selling them a solution based on what you feel you can do for that client. We have a qualifying process where we have conversations with them and try to get to know more about their business, where they see their business going, and how they want to get there. Then, we can move forward into a conversation about SEO and website development.

At the end of the day, SEO, website development, our other services are all just delivery methods for the business to get in front of their clients and for their business to get sales. In terms of what we’re providing, we’re just providing tools that assist them in growing their business and our tools aren’t right for everyone.

Q: That’s a perfect way to look at the agency-client dynamic since it forces you to really keep customer success at the forefront of everything you do. Your goal is to help them grow their business, not sell them something. That same attitude underlies what we do here at UpCity, and why we look to partner with companies like Insignia SEO. What are some of the reasons that you decided to partner with UpCity?

A: At first, our relationship with UpCity came about because we saw our competitors taking advantage of your promotion. We saw that there was a significant amount of traffic going from UpCity to our competition’s sites and that UpCity’s domain authority was growing as well.

We historically ranked really well for keywords like “Austin SEO,” but when we started to see UpCity take over the top spot in a lot of those SERPs, we were like, “What the hell?” So we dug into things and saw the type of SEO juice, credibility, and traffic you guys have been able to generate for your partners, saw the tremendous value there, and took the plunge.

Not only has this partnership helped solidify our strong rankings for SEO-related keywords in our own markets, but it also helps us bolster our rankings for services and locations where our own portfolio isn’t as strong. We can show up on a San Antonio web design list and generate qualified leads easily, even though the main core of our business is based in Austin. For us, it’s about expansion into different markets, it’s about building credibility with reviews, getting those recommendations.


Rolando Herrera is a marketing executive and entrepreneur that enjoys helping people and businesses grow their concepts. He’s worked with companies like Disney, Boston Market, and many others and helped them deliver concepts that connect with consumers. His expertise is in branding and digital marketing strategies that use social media, organic marketing, content marketing, and paid search advertising as the concepts vehicle.

He’s passionate about online marketing and teaching others how to “hack the internet” so that it works to their advantage and brings them the traffic and money to fund and grow the dream. One of his favorite sayings is that ” A million-dollar idea is worth nothing if you can’t bridge that idea to an audience.” He currently resides in Austin, Texas and enjoys the up and coming technological community there.

Company Bio

Insignia SEO is a national SEO & website design company. They’ve been helping businesses with digital marketing and website design since 2013. They are trailblazers in the internet marketing industry and have changed the way companies gain visibility online. While their services started locally and with just SEO services, their offerings and marketplace have expanded nationally.

They are an agency with experts and consultants that have years upon years of experience in advertising, digital marketing, branding, conversion funnels, website development, e-commerce, social media marketing, Google Ads and a lot more. Their primary objective is to help small to medium companies scale.

Manager of Content & Product Marketing

Jordan is the Manager of Content & Product Marketing at UpCity. With almost a decade of experience designing websites and writing copy, Jordan has helped countless brands find their voice, tell their story, and connect with real people.

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This column will be tough for me to write because, after 20 years of being in marketing, something happened to me that changed the way I see our industry.

It gave me new insight into situations that women face every day. I’ve heard them talk about it, but I didn’t understand it until it happened to me.

I got mansplained.

Merriam-Webster defines it like this: “When a man talks condescendingly to someone (especially a woman) about something he has incomplete knowledge of, with the mistaken assumption that he knows more about it than the person he’s talking to does.”

Stick with me while I explain what happened and why it made me rethink marketing.

How it happened

I’ve been looking for a service to transcribe calls and online meetings so I can listen more intently to what my clients and co-workers are saying instead of trying to take notes and multitask.

I signed up with one service for a trial. A few days later, I got the expected follow-up email saying, “Thanks for signing up; if you’d like to learn more, I’d love to give you a demo.”

As an entrepreneur and tech-industry investor for years, I’m always open to the opportunity to talk with a company about their business and their tech in this space, what their challenges and struggles are and how they market their services.

So, I scheduled a time. The account exec and I chatted briefly via email about my company and service requirements. So far, so good.

Then, I got the email that shook my world. Here’s what he said:

“I see you’re the co-founder of your org. You also might be looking to test this tool to maybe roll out to others on your team. That’s awesome and you’re obviously one of the top main decision makers, but just to be candid you’re better off delegating the testing/validating aspect to someone else on your team. I’ve been working with CEO’s/Founders of many different orgs for months and 90% of them are too busy and don’t have the bandwidth to incorporate a new piece of tech into their routine yet. [Brand] does need a ramp up time to learn about ones business.  [Brand] is not a silver bullet out the gate, therefore please let others do the testing/validating. You’re definitely the right level, but not the right one to do the testing.“ (Emphasis is mine.)

My reaction? “How dare you tell me what my business is and what my skill level should dictate?!”

Now, I have seen some bad sales emails in my time. My inbox is full of them. And I don’t have the patience for people who don’t take the time to communicate well.

So, I fired off a reply: “This is probably the worst email asking for other members to be involved in the process. I could think of a few hundred ways to say ‘hey, do you want to have your tech guys on the call to discuss with them also?’ I will decline the meeting and move on to another technology partner.”

The awakening

After I settled down, I told a friend what happened. The first words out of her mouth?

“You just got mansplained!”

Yes! Yes, I was mansplained. And, suddenly, I understood how insulting and how crass that can be, how frustrating for anyone, especially women who get this all the time.

At that moment, I began to see marketing differently.

Maybe you’re chuckling, too. A man mansplaining another man? Yep, it happened. And what I hope you take away from this incident and my reaction is that you open your eyes to how you communicate with your customers, coworkers, peers, vendors, clients and prospects.

3 ways to overcome bias in marketing

We need to think seriously about imagery, messaging and team roles and responsibilities to change the conversation and not inadvertently offend or belittle the people we work with. Here are three ways to start that process.

1. Review the images you use in your marketing collateral and other materials.

Shortly after this experience, I put together a presentation on a marketing approach for different personas within the dental industry. I had pictures to illustrate job roles such as dentists, hygienists, nurses, receptionists and technology staff.

Then I saw what I had done. I had chosen photos of a male dentist, a female hygienist and a female receptionist. Why did the dentist have to be male and the hygienist female? My own dental office has female dentists. But I subconsciously perpetuated the stereotype.

Look at your sales collateral and marketing emails. Review your personas, copy examples and artwork. See how you communicate to your customers and coworkers with imagery that perpetuates gender stereotypes.

2. Audit the language and content your salespeople use with prospective customers for potentially offensive language and concepts.

Whether you participate in or lead your company’s marketing team, your role is to control how your brand’s voice, message and equity is communicated by your workers.

In B2B, your salespeople and your marketing collateral (presentations, printed slicks, email and web content) are the primary drivers that shape your brand.

In B2C, it happens through your messaging via email, your website, social media, texting and other channels as well as personal interactions in stores and other physical locations.

When was the last time you audited what your salespeople are saying? Have you looked for potential mansplaining in the language you use to describe your product mix? Do you over-explain your value proposition because of gender bias?

How often do you look at what your salespeople say to prospects or your copywriters are writing in white papers, marketing collateral and other customer-facing content?

Speaking of which, here’s a follow-up on my communication with the transcription-company account exec. About 20 minutes after I sent my reply, I got an email that was contrite and apologetic. Did I end up agreeing to a demo after all?

No. Because I suspected he tried to spin this as a funny story to his boss, and the boss said, “You blew it.”

3. Examine the roles and responsibilities of your marketing team.

I have been lucky enough in my career to work with phenomenal women. In the last ten years, more than 75% of my team members have been women. But I also know companies that relegate women to stereotypical jobs. If men lead the group, more often, women are assigned to positions based on gender.

If we’re going to change the corporate landscape, we have to expand opportunities for women. We must look past gender bias in hiring and consideration of women for nontraditional roles.

What are you doing to create equal opportunities? Have you checked yourself, your practices and your communications? Maybe you over-explain in some cases and under-explain in others, such as in training new hires.

This goes beyond mansplaining, which assumes that the man doing the over-explaining is talking to a woman who is either his professional equal or has even more knowledge and experience than him, but it’s still relevant to my point.

A good leader wants the entire team to be as successful as possible and gives everyone the opportunity to do that. It’s not a question of women having to demand equality. The male population must stand up and advocate for it.

In the rapid-fire evolution of our industry, it doesn’t matter whether you’re in print, digital or any other channel. In marketing, we are all moving too fast, whether you’re at the specialist level or the CEO. Sometimes, you need an eye-opening moment, like the one I had with the transcription company, to realize we need to change our perspectives.

Wrapping up

While some might question or contest my experience and say it does not meet the technical definition of mansplaining, don’t discount my point. It’s all a communications problem that attempts to label someone as “not good enough.” This approach, while offensive, is pervasive in our culture and forced me to review how I use marketing and how I interact with others.

My point is this: Are you aligned with breaking gender stereotypes? Or, do you label or discount others because of their gender, role or position? And, ultimately, how does that unconscious bias affect your marketing?

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Ryan Phelan is co-founder of Origin Email and brings nearly two decades of worldwide online marketing and email experience. Ryan is a respected thought leader and nationally distinguished speaker with a history of experience from Adestra, Acxiom, BlueHornet, Sears Holdings, Responsys and infoUSA. In 2013 he was named one of the top 30 strategists in online marketing and is the Chairman Emeritus of the EEC Advisory Board. Ryan also works with start-up companies as an advisor, board member and investor.

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SEMrush is a popular competitive intelligence platform used by search marketers. The company, recently infused with $40 million in funding to expand beyond Google, Bing and Yahoo insights, has launched a new product called Sellerly specifically for Amazon sellers.

What is Sellerly? Announced Monday, Sellerly designed to give Amazon sellers the ability to split test product detail pages.

“By introducing Sellerly as a seller’s buddy in Amazon marketing, we hope to improve hundreds of existing Amazon sellers’ strategies,” said SEMrush Chief Strategy Officer Eugene Levin in a statement. “Sellerly split testing is only the first step here. We’ve already started to build a community around the new product, which is very important to us. We believe that by combining feedback from users with our leading technology and 10 years of SEO software experience, we will be able to build something truly exceptional for Amazon sellers.”

How does it work? Sellerly is currently free to use. Amazon sellers connect their Amazon accounts to the tool in order to manage their product pages. Sellers can make changes to product detail pages to test against the controls. Sellerly collects data in real time and sellers can then choose winners based on views and conversions.

Sellers can run an unlimited number of tests.

Why we should care. Optimized product detail pages on Amazon is a critical aspect of success on the platform. As Amazon continues to generate an increasing share of e-commerce sales for merchants big and small, and competition only increases, product page optimization becomes even more critical. Amazon does not support AB testing natively. Sellerly is not the first split test product for Amazon product pages to market. Splitly (paid), Listing Dojo (free) are two others that offer similar split testing services.

This story first appeared on Search Engine Land. For more on search marketing and SEO, click here.

About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, managing day-to-day editorial operations across all of our publications. Ginny writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, she has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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John Wilander, Apple Webkit engineer and architect of Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) solution, said Wednesday that Chrome’s new approach to privacy and cookie handling will do little to stop trackers.

Google announced Tuesday that it is changing the way its Chrome browser handles third-party cookies and will more aggressively aim to limit fingerprinting. It will require developers to identify cookies that are allowed to work across sites and potentially could be used to track users with a mechanism based on the web’s SameSite cookie attribute. Cookies without the new SameSite attribute will not be available in a third-party context. The browser will later introduce tools to allow users to block or clear third-party cookies and keep first-party cookies to stay logged in and retain site settings.

“What Chrome has announced is a change to their default cookie policy, going from allowing third-party cookie access to not allowing it,”  Wilander said in a Twitter thread. “However, developers can simply reconfigure their cookies to opt out [of] this new policy and we should expect all trackers to do so immediately.”

Wilander said while he sees Chrome’s willingness to “acknowledge that tracking is a problem on the web” and make changes as positive steps, it’s not going far enough. “For a cookie policy to have meaningful effect on cross-site tracking,” he wrote, “you also need to partition storage available to third-parties such as LocalStorage, IndexedDB, ServiceWorkers, and cache.” Safari has enabled this kind of partitioning to prevent cross-site tracking in a third-party context since 2013.

He pointed to a 2013 WebKit bug tracker page on cache partitioning in which a Chrome engineer — back when Chromium used Webkit — essentially asked to be able to opt out of the partitioning because “the cache partitioning feature is not supported by the consensus of the WebKit project.” Just over a month later, Google forked WebKit and launched Blink, its rendering engine still used by Chromium.

ITP cross-site cookie blocking. Safari introduced ITP in 2017 to block third-party trackers from capturing cross-site browsing data — chiefly preventing retargeting efforts. “ITP detects which domains have the ability to track the user and either deletes all of their cookies and website data, or blocks third-party cookie access,” said Wilander. The latest versions, 2.1 and 2.2, go further to keep third-party cookies from abusing first-party storage space, he added.

“This is all to say that Chrome has a long way to go if they are serious about fighting tracking on the web,” Wilander said. “Their announced changes will not do anything now, but they are important steps because they show Chrome’s willingness to move.”

Why we should care. Wilander’s response can be seen simply as a jab at a rival, but it highlights the divergent approaches to — and attitudes toward — tracking by Apple and Google. Apple has long staked out an anti-tracking stance, and ITP’s escalating restrictions have marketers scrambling to understand the impact on retargeting and analytics.

Chrome’s approach is significant given Google’s decade-long role in data collection and tracking. Privacy was a theme of I/O this week  (supported by a New York Times op-ed by CEO Sundar Pichai Tuesday) and spanned multiple products, including more location data controls in Android and products such as search and Maps.

That said, Chrome’s cookie handling change is relatively small and likely just a first step. With both a developer component — which may invite workarounds as Wilander suggests — and a user component that may or may not be widely adopted. It’s entirely unclear how much of a shakeup this will mean for marketers. But two different approaches means marketers will need to have both eyes open.

About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, managing day-to-day editorial operations across all of our publications. Ginny writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, she has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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Google Analytics allows you to access detailed information regarding your online store’s traffic and sales.

It doesn’t matter what type of business you have or what your selling, Google Analytics is a staple component of your marketing strategy that will allow you to monitor and grow online conversions.

Google Analytics can seem a bit confusing at times even for a seasoned analyst. Sometimes it’s hard to know which metrics or reports are relevant to your e-commerce store, and which ones are just fluff.

In this article, I’ll be showing nine ways to use Google Analytics for your e-commerce store to help you get started today.

If you’re new to Google Analytics or you’d like to create an account you can use this guide to help set up Google Analytics in under 15 minutes. to follow along better in this article.

1. Use Google Analytics to Track Your Marketing campaigns.

With the power of Google Analytics, you can track any of your store’s online marketing campaigns (with or without Google Adwords/AdSense).

Track which landing pages and sources of the campaigns people interact with to complete a purchase. Giving a detailed data to see which funnels are the most effective and which aren’t so you can do A/B testing.

Maybe you already have a landing page running and your not sure what to do? Why not try these 7 Step from a Conversion Playbook To Quickly Optimize Your Landing Pages to point you in the right direction.

If you have a video or youtube channel included in your campaign you can use Google Analytics to track how many people watched your video or completed a purchase because of that video.

If you’re looking for amazing landing pages to use with your market campaigns or contest to host, Wishpond provides all the tools and features you need from start to finish with an easy Google Analytics integration so you can measure your results.

You can also use Google Analytics to help you know which channels to retarget customers to bring back lost sales.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again when it comes to conversions and sales. Google Analytics is your partner in crime.

2. Use Google Analytics to Track Your Sales and Revenue

For any business owner tracking revenue and sales is important. You want to know if your meeting your financial goals or see where you’re falling short.

So how do you use Google analytics to track your website’s revenue accurately?

First, you have to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What are the landing pages that are getting the most conversions?
  2. How do people arrive on these pages?
  3. Which products represent the highest value to your customers in your store?
  4. How do you track your online revenue?

Stop yourself from diving into endless reports, and try to answer the questions above, from there best action to take after would be to set up a goal in Google Analytics. based on your answers. Your goal can be tailored to track completed transactions, which allows you to track your landing pages and products customer make on purchases.

The second step would be to set up your Google Analytics E-commerce tracking, which we’ll get to further in this article, on your website to help you accurately track your sales. From there you can use the “Conversion” tab to view your “Goals”, “Sales Performance”, and “Transactions” reports.

3. Use Google Analytics to Track Your Website Traffic

When it comes to measuring website traffic for e-commerce stores, Google Analytics is the undisputed champion. It gives detailed information on how many people have visited your online store, what pages they’ve been on, demographic details of users and various traffic sources.

You can use your Google Analytic reports learning about your website traffic sources. Google Analytics shows you can show you detailed reports on:

*Organic Traffic
*Referral Traffic
*Social Traffic
*Direct Traffic
*Email Traffic

You can compare different website site traffic sources and time periods (i,e 30 days or last 7 days) to see if your website traffic is declining or increasing. This can help you to track:

  • Where on your site or landing pages might be affecting your sales
  • How well it’s performing, what links are providing the most traffic
    *If you need to focus heavily on link building.
    *Notice any pages with errors that need fixing.
    *Create a better sales or marketing funnel for your online store.

For example, you’re running a giveaway contest on your website, but you see more traffic coming from your email newsletter when compared to other traffic sources, which would naturally be a cause for concern.

Your website traffic reports can tell if people are having problems accessing your giveaway from other platforms or you might need to promote your giveaway as heavily as your emails to get the same results.

To view your website traffic click on the “Real-Time” tab and check each report to learn about your traffic. With it, you can understand who and where your potential customers are coming from, which brings me to my next point.

4. Use Google Analytics to Understand Your Target Audience

Use Google Analytics data to get a clear picture of who your potential customers really are.

You can leverage Google Analytics to discover the following about your website visitors:


Compare data to see if your traffic is mainly made up of male or female visitors. This report can guide you to see if you’re attracting the right gender(s) to your store or how you can use it to tailor your content. You can find this report under Audience > Demographics > Gender.

Age Range

Take a glimpse at your audience age range so you can understand which age ranges are most likely to visit your site. You can find this report under Audience > Demographics > Age.


See what devices (even the OS system) your visitors are using the most to visit your store. Now more than ever online shoppers are turning to mobile devices compared to desktops. This means having a mobile-friendly store is an essential part of the buyer’s journey and capturing sales.
You can find this report under Audience > Mobile > Devices

Interest Reports in Google Analytics will tell you your users’ interests on other parts of the internet. This will help you identify a more specific target audience, cross or upselling opportunities, better blog content ideas.

You can find this report under Audience > Interest > Overview.

If you’re not satisfied with the demographics basics, you can learn more about your customers by taking a look at their shopping behaviour. Learn about the type of products they view, click on, and add to cart all while tracking checkouts and transactions.

To find this report go to Conversions > E-commerce> Shopping Behaviour.

Use the “Shopping Behaviour” report and the Behaviour tab in Google Analytics to understand your buyer’s journey for both new and returning customers on your site.

You’ll only see this report if you enabled your E-commerce setting for your Google Analytics. From there you can find it with Conversions > E-commerce > Shopping Behaviour.

6. Use Google Analytics for Specialized SEO & Keyword Search

The Google Analytics “Site Search” report gives an overview of the terms, keywords and pages customers are searching for the most on your website.

Instead of relying heavily on Google Keyword Search you can get insight from visitors coming to your page. Site Search helps you to optimize your website so that you can rank higher in search for topics, features or products that customers are actually looking for.

To find this report go to Behaviour > Site Search.

Combine your “Interest” report from the Audience tab, and your “Search Site” report as an excellent way to gather the right keywords and phrases to optimize your e-commerce stores specifically for future customers.

Shopping cart abandonment is a problem for all e-commerce sites, big and small. It’s been estimated over the past nine years that more than $260 billion in sales were recoverable through better checkout systems.

Studies show that almost 70% of online purchases are left unfinished. And if you’re not taking this number seriously, chances are, you’re losing more money than you thought.

Using Google Analytics to track your online store’s shopping cart abandonment can help you to catch the problem before it becomes worse.

To track your shopping cart abandonment with Google Analytics, first, you’d need to create a Google Analytics Goal, where a visitor needs to complete an order/purchase. If you’ve just created your goal for the first time, you’ll need to give GA some time to populate the report first.

After that you can view reports like “Goals” and “Funnel Visualization” in the “Conversion” tabs to track which pages customers fall off short.

8. Use Google Analytics with Google AdWords & AdSense for Better Ads

Linking you’re Google Analytics account with your AdWords accounts allows you to access powerful information to create PPC campaigns and Google Ads that convert. Because the data from Google Analytics data is specialized to your online store, you can find keywords that result in better conversions.

Combined this with your AdSense account, you can find useful data results including the ability to view your online store’s earnings based on how many users visits you have/ or had instead of relying on page impressions.

If your interested in seeing it in action you can use this guide to Link AdSense with Google Analytics to Track Earnings Per Page, it’s pretty easy to do.

How Connect Google Analytics with your Ecommerce store

I’ve listed the best step-by-step guides you can use to connect Google Analytics to your e-commerce store. If you have more than one e-commerce store, you choose to link it to one or two different Google Analytic accounts.

Google Analytics isn’t just for your website, it’s can also be used for your website’s social media. Here’s a list of the best ways to use:

Top Google Analytics Reports for E-commerce Stores

In order for you to see some of these reports or gather the data you need for them, you’ll have to set up Google Analytics e-commerce tracking.

Set up E-commerce Tracking in Google Analytics in 3 Easy Steps

Step 1. After creating your Google Analytic, go to the “Admin” Section which is shown on the top right side. Under “View” select “E-commerce Setting.”

Step 2. In the third column on the right side, you can see the “Ecommerce tab,” click on it and set it to “YES.” Now you are allowed to see the information about transactions. You can also add funnel steps to get more detailed reports.

Step 3. You can view your e-commerce reports under the “Conversion” tab on the left-hand side of your page. You might not see your reports fill up as yet so give Google Analytics some time to gather the data from your website.

Pro Tip: It’s essential that you add your E-commerce tracking code to your website or Google Tag Manager for more accurate data collection and reports.

Here are the following reports that you should check for your e-commerce store:

  • Shopping Behavior Report

  • The Checkout Behavior Analysis Report

  • The Product Performance Report

  • The Sales Performance Report

  • Product List Performance Report


Here are nine amazing ways to use Google Analytics for e-commerce:

  1. Use Google Analytics to Track Your Marketing campaigns.
  2. Use Google Analytics to Track Your Sales and Revenue
  3. Use Google Analytics to Track Your Website Traffic
  4. Use Google Analytics to Understand Your Target Audience
  5. Use Google Analytics to Learn About Customers Shopping Behavior.
  6. Use Google Analytics for Specialized SEO & Keyword Search
  7. Use Google Analytics to Track Shopping Cart Abandonment
  8. Use Google Analytics with Google AdWords & AdSense for Better Ads

Knowing how to use Google Analytics for your e-commerce store is only half the fight. It’s what you do with the data that matter the most.

Take the information and make actionable steps to optimize your ecommerce store for better conversions and buyer experience.

Are you currently using Google Analytics for your online store, which tip(s) do you think you’ll try today? I’d love to know.

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As nice as new leads are, customers are the most important resource your brand has. Customer loyalty is one of the best goals a company can aim for since it not only shows you’re doing your job well but is also a big driver of profits. 61% of customers go out of their way to buy from brands they feel loyal to, and 75% recommend them to others. Not to mention, customers that feel an emotional connection to a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value.

In a crowded marketplace, where all your competitors are vying for attention from your target audience, earning customer loyalty is a challenge. You need to find a way to build a unique and personal connection with each of your customers. For smaller businesses, giving each customer individualized attention can create intimacy. But the more your business grows, the harder it becomes to create that individualized connection with every customer you have.

You can still create customer intimacy as a large business, you just have to get creative. Here’s how:

1. Personalize your product offerings

Most of the conversation around personalization is all about marketing. But you can bring personalization to your products as well.

One of the features the messaging platform Intercom offers is custom bots that customers can tailor to the exact needs of their business. Instead of offering a one-size-fits-all solution, they allow clients to input the categories and answers their customers care about to automate personalized conversations with website visitors. This makes for both a customized solution for Intercom customers and a personalized experience for their website visitors.

Intercom chat bot example


2. Send creative, personalized direct mail 

A couple of years ago, direct mail may have seemed on its way out, but as online marketing grows more competitive, physical mail has become a way to be noticed. Valassis research shows that including a direct mail component in your marketing leads to an average 6% lift in sales.

However, there’s still a challenge to overcome. People receive so much junk mail, it’s tough to find a way to make anything stand out and become memorable.

Here are three effective strategies for nailing the unique factor:

Personalize your direct mail

Direct mail services now let you personalize mail with variable data printing. Maps4Mail does a clever version of this—you already have the recipient’s address, why not use that to send them a custom map of how to get from their place to your office or event?

Maps4Mail Personalized Mail Example

Send objects rather than paper

We all get a stack of junk mail almost every time they check the mail, but we always notice the 3D objects. Commercial sound production house GGRP memorably sent a cardboard phonograph that actually played the sample record they included as a way to promote their services to ad agencies. You can bet recipients took notice!

Combine the two with a personalized gift

The phonograph was smart, but could it have been made more personal? You can go a step further by sending an object personalized to your customer’s taste. If you have hundreds of customers to reach, that may sound unrealistic, but it’s not anymore!

Paper Magazine turned to Prazely to instantly send over 100 personalized gifts to partners, based on the interests that Prazely’s AI identified from their social media profiles. For instance, clients who shared their love of cocktails online received a glass shaker and bourbon bears.

Prazely personalied gift example

3. Host customer events

Tech tools have done a lot to enable greater personalization, but the most direct path to intimacy is still meeting someone in person. That’s hard for a company with an international audience, but you can still coordinate ways for people from your company to meet with customers directly.

Set up events like lunch and learns or customer appreciation dinners in each city where you have a location, or when your representatives visit a new city for a conference or business trip. Or go big and host a conference that brings hundreds of your customers together.

In-person events provide opportunities to get to know some of the faces and personalities behind the different accounts your company depends on. And just as importantly, lets them get to know the human beings behind your brand.

Most of us can think of brands we have a real, emotional connection with. Even if another brand can offer a lower price or greater convenience, we’re likely to stick with the one we have positive associations with. Creating customer intimacy is how you become that brand for your customers and earn that kind of loyalty.

Want to learn more about creating unforgettable brand experiences? Check out our webinar: Winning at personalized customer engagement.

Watch it now

Winning at Personalized Customer Engagement Blog CTA

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By now, you’ve likely heard of the flywheel, the new approach to customer acquisition that’s quickly replacing the traditional sales funnel. The funnel places an emphasis on driving customers in and converting them, but lacks a focus on what comes after conversion. In today’s hyper-connected digital world, the post-conversion stage is when you truly cash in on the value of your customers. Yesterday’s sales mindset sees customers as dollar signs, as names waiting to be signed on a check; while companies view their clients in terms of their network and their ability to provide you with additional work in the future.

Funnel vs Flywheel

The flywheel incorporates three stages, allowing you to conceptualize and strategize your customer interactions to ensure that you are creating a recommendable brand: Engage, Convert, and Delight.


The earliest phase of the flywheel involves engaging with potential customers. For marketing providers, it can feel almost impossible to stand out from the ever-growing crowd of competitors willing to undercut your prices. In order to be successful during the Engage phase, you should approach it with two tactics: visibility and credibility.


Customers are the force that make your flywheel spin. But how can you put your business in front of more eyes? In truth, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to achieving visibility; however, the most successful marketing providers utilize a number of common practices that help grow their presence.

First, and most importantly, the most successful marketing service providers focus on web presence. Before focusing on driving leads, you need to consider where you’re sending them. It takes roughly .05 seconds (that’s 50 milliseconds) for a user to form an opinion about your site and whether they will stay or leave. Does your website make the cut?

Having a well-designed website with a great user experience will help you achieve success in a variety of marketing efforts later on, but having strong organic search fundamentals is equally important. Your website should contain thoughtfully-organized, well-written content that is highly relevant to your audience’s needs; your pages should all contain optimized metadata and keyword-dense body content. Beyond your website, ensuring that your business appears on online directories, like Google My Business, and vertical-specific directories, like UpCity, as well as across relevant social media channels, is key if you hope to achieve the highest level of visibility. Ultimately, your goal should be to engage with users and begin telling your brand narrative regardless of where a user searches.


Once you’ve begun to grow your visibility, you’ll need to start considering your credibility in the eyes of your audience. It’s not enough to provide great service; customers today want to partner with a provider that is credible and well-respected in the industry. Without social proof and continued nurturing of the client relationship, your marketing efforts are dead in the water.

Guest posting for publications like UpCity, Forbes, Inc., and others is an excellent way to get your name in front of a larger audience so you can demonstrate your expertise, Earning awards, like UpCity’s annual Excellence Awards, can help prove credibility to potential customers. With that being said, most marketing providers simply overlook the wealth of offline potential lead generating opportunities in their local area. Speaking opportunities at local business events and networking with your town’s Chamber of Commerce are two excellent ways for early stage marketing businesses to build credibility and gain qualified leads at a lower cost and faster rate than some online marketing methods.

Once you get a new lead through the door, it’s time to start thinking about nurture and conversion.


Customers will usually spend a relatively small amount of time in the convert phase. In such a cluttered market, there’s simply no time to waste when it comes to engaging new leads and moving them towards conversion. Following up with every lead immediately ensures that you don’t leave any qualified business on the table, but you shouldn’t stop at the first phone call. Optimize your convert stage with automated email nurture campaigns and scheduled phone calls.

Too many businesses focus on selling a service, but forget to consider the “why.” Business owners have thousands of other options, so what makes your business different? Don’t just sell, tell a story. Help customers understand why they need your services through informative content and carefully planned talking points; show them how you’ve helped similar businesses in the past with case studies and reviews; close them by demonstrating why you’re the right fit for them. Your salespeople are your storytellers, but they shouldn’t be working alone! Support them with email nurture campaigns, social media posts, and paid retargeting ads.


Once you’ve converted a customer, it’s important to keep the conversation going or risk being forgotten. It goes without saying that you need to provide the highest-quality service possible in every customer interaction, but too often marketing providers don’t reap what they sow. E-commerce companies have long understood the power of product reviews, but service-businesses have been slow to catch up. Customers these days are more likely than ever to leave a review for your business, but you have to ask! Capitalize on the excellent quality of your service by asking for reviews. For those that are further along in their growth, building out case studies can help communicate your brand narrative to potential customers and close more deals.

Spin Your Flywheel with UpCity

No matter where you’re at in your marketing company’s growth, UpCity has the solutions and the expertise to help you spin your flywheel. UpCity has helped thousands of marketing service providers across North America drive more leads, foster great customer experiences, and build their credibility by offering solutions for each stage of the flywheel. Learn more about becoming a Certified Partner and take your UpCity experience to the next level!

Manager of Content & Product Marketing

Jordan is the Manager of Content & Product Marketing at UpCity. With almost a decade of experience designing websites and writing copy, Jordan has helped countless brands find their voice, tell their story, and connect with real people.

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In addition to guest posting on the UpCity blog, The Lorem Ipsum Co is featured as one of the Top Content Marketing Agencies in the United States. Check out their profile here.

Content marketing has swept the business world over the last decade with businesses committing up to 80 percent of their marketing budgets to the relatively new phenomenon. But do you know if that investment is paying off? If you don’t have a clear way to measure ROI on your content marketing, you’re not alone. In fact, 59 percent of B2B marketers either don’t know or are unsure what successful content marketing looks like, according to the Content Marketing Institute.

Image Courtesy of the Content Marketing Institute

If you don’t know if or how a specific piece of content contributed to the bottom line, it’s time for a wakeup call. In order to understand how content can help your business, you need to be able to measure ROI (return on investment) on your content marketing quickly and effectively. Accurately measuring your ROI will ensure you are getting the best results from content marketing.

What is Content Marketing ROI?

Content marketing ROI is the value you receive from your content marketing efforts compared to the costs associated with said efforts, especially the cost to create and distribute content. In order to understand content marketing ROI, you must first understand the goal of your content (i.e., web traffic, brand recognition, revenue, etc.) and then set key performance indicators (KPIs).

A few important KPI to monitor include:

  • Sales/Revenue
  • Web Traffic
  • SEO Improvement
  • Lead Quality
  • On-page Metrics
  • Social Media Engagement

In order to determine ROI, you must understand the cost associated with creating and distributing your content.

Calculating your ROI

For this explanation, let’s assume the goal is increased revenue. Even if you create all content in house, there are costs associated with that time and labor, not to mention your content distribution costs (i.e., PPC or social media advertising). Factor in the cost of stock video and images and any outsourced work as well. Once you have a firm grip on the cost, there’s a simple formula to help you weigh the costs vs. benefit of your content.

When content marketing works as planned, it produces clear, measurable results in the form of web traffic or new sales prospects. The formula created by Convince and Convert, a digital marketing analysis and advisory firm, is one of the best: “Return minus investment, divided by investment, expressed as a percentage.” Here’s an example:

If you spend $1,500 creating and promoting a piece of content and that specific content nets two new sales valued at $2,500 each, that’s a 233 percent ROI.

  1. Return minus investment – $5,000 – $1,500 = $3,500
  2. Divided by investment – 3,500/$1,500 = 2.33
  3. Expressed as a percentage – 2.33 x 100 = 233

If you spend less creating a piece of content than you can accurately measure it earning in sales, it’s successful. However, content doesn’t always translate into direct revenue. Many content marketing metrics produce an ROI without obvious ties to income.

Here are a few of the top content marketing KPIs and how to measure them:

  1. Web Traffic: Web traffic is perhaps the single most important metric to measure content marketing success. Without traffic, there’s no revenue. To monitor the amount of traffic a specific content asset is producing, Google Analytics is the choice of most content marketers. You can build UTM tags to track and monitor content or campaign performance.
  2. SEO Improvement: Content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) go hand in hand. When a piece of content performs well, your entire website benefits through increased domain authority. To gauge SEO performance, you need to monitor how your content ranks for the target keyword. Many free and paid software services, such as Moz, monitor keyword performance.
  3. Social Media Engagement: Successful content can also produce ROI offsite. Social media is a perfect example. If the goal of your content is to grow your social media following, monitoring engagement is crucial. With so many purchasing decisions influenced by peer recommendations, social media growth should be a top ROI metric. Most social media channels have built-in analytics to help you monitor week-over-week or month-over-month growth and engagement.

It’s important to know that you do not need to track every single KPI. You can choose which metrics best suit your business and content goals. You can also change which metrics your monitor between content pieces. As long as you set concrete goals, you can easily and effectively measure ROI on your content marketing.

Now that you know what to measure and how; it’s time to get busy creating content with those specific goals in mind and watch the returns roll in!

Jeramy Headshot

Jeramy Gordon

Jeramy Gordon is the Chief Content Officer at the Lorem Ipsum Company, a full-service digital marketing agency specializing in content marketing. With nearly two decades of experience creating and honing award-winning content strategies, Jeramy and his team strive to help brands break through the barriers and static associated with online marketing and grow their businesses. The Lorem Ipsum Company has offices in Orange County, Calif., and Santa Barbara.

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Saira Nazir, head of digital marketing at Autodesk, speaking at MarTech West 2019.

SAN JOSE, CA — Why digitally transform? Business must go through digital transformation to win share, gain efficiency, make better decisions and delight customers, said Saira Nazir, head of digital marketing at Autodesk, at MarTech Conference Thursday.

Nazir outlined three foundations of digital transformation: organizational design, data and tools and discussed how Autodesk has engaged in digital transformation to move beyond incremental KPI improvements.

Organizations must evolve. “Organizational design is probably the most overlooked” of the three said Nazir. “If you update all your tools but your teams are still relating to each other and working in the same way, you will not be able to truly take advantage of the tools.”

The approach — decentralized or centralized — doesn’t matter, the key is to focus on the evolution of your teams while going through digital transformation, she said.

More insights from the MarTech Conference

Identify bad data. Often marketers get hung up on data gaps, but Nazir cautions that identifying bad data or metrics is critical to the process of creating effective data models and algorithmic outcomes. It’s just as important to identify and tag good metrics such as conversion rates, latency, pages to conversion, etc. as it is to identify and tag bad metrics that will pollute data models, said Nazir.

“As more companies adopt AI, bad data matters a lot,” she said. If you create a model, you need to tag good and bad data to help the machines learn and create a good algorithm. It’s not just identifying gaps in data but tagging bad groups of data.

A bad metric is “a lagging indicator instead of a leading indicator,” said Nazir. “That can prompt you go in a wrong direction.”

Scale with a CDP. To analyze and test at scale, Autodesk deployed a customer data platform (CDP).

The team saw that a large percentage of customers were spilling out of renewals and coming back in to the journey to find new pricing. “About 60% of traffic was leakage from renewals,” said Nazir. “They are already customers, and a CDP can identify them and create a much more tailored experience for those people that already have the product. We can give them tutorials to understand the tool better.” Identifying and specifically addressing the needs of these audiences increases retention.

The team used the CDP to map out the customer journey using Adobe IDs, purchase history and product attributes to understand how customers interacted with them. It then can identify appropriate audiences for tailored email campaigns based on if/and statements that direct users to specific content based on their engagements — at scale.

Chatbot to shorten sales cycle. Autodesk had 68-day purchase cycle. It wanted to shorten it and grow the percentage of people who buy online. The company looked at chatbot offerings to help surface tailored content recommendations to site visitors.

Autodesk ended up creating its own chatbot rooted in machine learning and programmed it using popular content. It ingests the referral data and answers from a couple of  clarifying questions at the beginning of each session before showing content links specific to the user’s needs. Autodesk also thought carefully about the look of the chatbot’s prompts, designing it to feel familiar with the look of Instagram questions.

“We predicted customers need more information,” said Nazir. “This pushes content to them sooner.”

The initiative drove 4x more conversions and 109% more time on page, said Nazir. More impressive, Autodesk didn’t test this effort on brand keywords, but only on traffic coming in on non-brand keywords.

This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more on marketing technology, click here.

About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, managing day-to-day editorial operations across all of our publications. Ginny writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, she has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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