One of my favourite expressions is this:
“Successful Marketing is the Consistent Application of Common Sense”.
With all the marketing tools at our disposal, it is all too easy to overlook the obvious answers that often lie right before our eyes. A case in point: An organization selling consumable products recently asked me whether there was a way in Google Analytics to determine why customers did not come back to reorder in greater numbers. They had found that many of their purchasers were net new contacts, rather than existing customers reordering.
While Google Analytics is good at many things, it cannot generally answer a ‘Why’ question. It is much better at answering the ‘What’ question. I.e. what happened to my conversion rate last month? How many new visitors did the site attract and where did they come from etc. To find answers to the ‘Why’ question, you have to look elsewhere. And while On-site surveys are often a good way to answer the ‘why’ questions, this situation did not require any tools.
It just required some common sense. After chatting with the client for a bit, it turned out that they usually sent their brand name products (3rd party brands) in non-descript brown shipping boxes. Once the product (e.g. cleaning detergent) arrived at the client site and was stacked on a shelf, there was NO way to identify where the order had come from. As a result, once it came time to reorder, the purchasers would look at the bottle and – more often than not – type the product name into Google. Presto: an easy opportunity for reordering was wasted.
The simple solution: the client is now adding a small sticker to their products – a purchaser now can either visit the website or call to reorder… Result: reorder rates are up significantly, and the average cost of sale has decreased.
Google Analytics wouldn’t have come up with that in a million years.
The morale of the story: don’t forget to look beyond the tools, and the reams of useful data they produce. Look around you – the answer may very well be staring you in the face.
It never ceases to amaze me how many organizations are merrily running Google AdWords campaigns without taking full advantage of the built-in reporting capabilities. We recently helped a few clients optimize their AdWords performance, and while their businesses were targeting very different audiences, they had oneÂ thing in common: they had NEVER looked at the Google AdWords Report Center beyond the basic keyword performance report. Aaargh…
Easily the most useful report in the Report Center:
- The Search Query Performance Report: It shows you the actual keyword queries that triggered your ads, rather than ‘just’ your keyword buys.Â This is particularly useful when your campaign contains the infamous ‘broad’ match keyword types.Â You’d be amazed at the actual queries that triggered your ads.Â The insight is dramatic
- Identify negative keywords (free, shareware,…)
- Identify high performing keyword phrases and create new ad groups for them.
- Refine your keyword buys with additional match types and corresponding focused text ads.
Of course, there are a few caveats:
- Some search queries can’t be identified ‘x unique queries’ may have triggered your ads. Simply filter them out of your analysis
- Don’t forget your other reports: Placement performance (if you run content ads) etc.
The Google AdWords program continues to be one of the most effective drivers of targeted traffic and leads.Â However, make sure you don’t waste your money on irrelevant clicks!
As many of you know, I’ve been a major fan of two web analytics tools: Google Analytics, because it’s free and pretty powerful, and Clicktracks, because of the unique insights it presents in easily digestible form.
Today, Google Analytics Version 2.0 was released.Â From what I can see so far: Amazing!Â
Â I’m looking forward to seeing it in action with our clients.Â And here are the details:Â Google Analytics V2
Yesterday, Google announced that it added a few new features to its Local Business Center, allowing businesses to enter custom information that shows up on Google Maps.Â
Here are just some of the innovations.Â Businesses now can
- Add logos or other relevant photos to your company listing,
- Specify custom attributes that further describe your business,
- See how often your listing was viewed in the maps.
Simply put: go to the Google Local Business Center and get listed.Â Even if you don’t have a web site, this one is a no-brainer.
I’m often asked about basicÂ Search Engine Optimization Tips.Â This SEO video, posted on Youtube by Eric Holter of Newfangled, does a great job at explaining some of the basics.
One of my favorite publications, MarketingSherpaÂ has just published its Annual ad:tech Study.Â In it, some 332 marketers share their observations and budget intents for online marketing tactics.
Some interesting findings stand out for me:
- SEO, PPC and email get the highest marks for ROI in 2006.Â
- Budget increases are planned for Paid Search (Pay-per-Click), Email Marketing to Inhouse lists, SEO and Rich media (this may in fact represent the rise of podcasting and video broadcasting (vodcasting))
- It is reassuring to see that analytics are firmly entrenched in these marketers’ toolboxes.Â Without Analytics, Internet Marketing is flying blind.
- Among the emerging tactics, adding RSS feeds and inhouse blogs received high votes.
For the full details on the study, read the ad:tech study at MarketingSherpa
It is no secret that Google makes a ton of money not just by displaying ads on its search engine results pages, but also by syndicating them toÂ related content pages via Google Adsense.Â This, in turn, has helped a large number of web sitesÂ turn a profit, since they get a share of revenue whenever one of their site visitors clicks on a Google Ad.Â (Note: both of these venues can be highly effective for advertisers as well – more on that in a later post….)
Until now, Microsoft has not actively promoted their alternative to Google AdSense.Â This may change shortly.Â I just came across this nifty review ofÂ Microsoft ‘AdSense‘ – (Better known as theÂ Microsoft AdCenter).Â From what it appears, they still have a lot of catching up to before they can hope to make any serious inroads into Google’s dominance.Â
It looks like they haven’t quite figured out howÂ web site owners will make more money with the Microsoft way of doing things.Â Until then, Google has nothing to fear…
Time will tell.
ThisÂ just in… As InfoWorldÂ reports in its newest issue, Google can now be used to search existing patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).Â Although there are still some limitations toÂ Google’s Patent search engine, it is a big step forward for would-be inventors.Â
Speaking from personal experience, I am happy to see the power and usability of Google’s search engine beingÂ brought to bear on the large repository ofÂ US Patents.Â Â Patent searching is a key activity for any budding inventor, and Google should be of tremendous help in this process.
You can find the Google patent search engine here.
Talk about Shoemaker’s Kids… While we have helped several clients to implement and maintain blogs on a variety of platforms, it is only now that we’re finally activatingÂ our own blog.Â Our intent is to cover a variety of aspects of search engine related topics.Â These include, of course:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Search engine marketing (SEM) via Pay-per-Click (PPC)
- And the optimization of press releases forÂ optimal online visibilty.
OK – onwards and upwards.Â