Be Found Online http://befoundonline.com Sat, 04 Jul 2015 17:58:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Using Multi-Channel Funnels http://befoundonline.com/analytics/6891/using-multi-channel-funnels http://befoundonline.com/analytics/6891/using-multi-channel-funnels#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 19:05:01 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6891 Understanding your marketing mix is key to optimizing conversions and your budget. Google Analytics has built-in attribution reports to help you best understand your customer’s conversion journey.  I could take some time to introduce you to the reports, but you can do that yourself.  In fact, you probably already have. What’s more important is how […]

The post Using Multi-Channel Funnels appeared first on Be Found Online.

]]>
Understanding your marketing mix is key to optimizing conversions and your budget. Google Analytics has built-in attribution reports to help you best understand your customer’s conversion journey.  I could take some time to introduce you to the reports, but you can do that yourself.  In fact, you probably already have. What’s more important is how you use them. If you didn’t quite understand what you were looking at or what do, you are in the right place. But before we get started, let’s take note of a few points:

  • MCF relies on goals being set up. If you don’t have goals, check out an old presentation of mine to better understand what your goal framework should be.
  • MCF also relies on intact data integrity. If your acquisition reports are wrong, all Multi-Channel Funnels will be useless.
  • These are tools.  They are meant to be actively used, not frozen as a screenshot or PDF for your boss.
  • You should have a question in mind before diving down the rabbit hole. For example, “Are LinkedIn banners worth it?” or “Should I stop spending on SEO?”

Cool?  Cool.  Let’s hit it.

Multi-Channel Funnels

The Overview

It’s no secret that there are often multiple visits to a site before a conversion happens.  The MCF overview shows you what channels were involved in the conversion journey. This can help you pinpoint where there may be wasted dollars if certain expensive channels don’t contribute. In the example below, if we had an extensive and expensive email list, and it is rarely converting or involved in conversion funnels, it’s time to kill it.

blogpic1

Assisted Conversions

Once you’ve seen which channels are involved in the journey, we want to understand what are “Assists” and what are “Closers”.  Google Analytics attributes conversions to the last channel used prior to conversion, called Last Click. (I call them “Closers” because they actually close the deal and “Last Click Or Direct” just sounds clunky).  Any other channel from a User that isn’t a Closer is an Assist.  When we count conversions from Assists, we start to expose the real value of a channel.  Assists can create real value.

blogpic2

In this example, we see that Direct would typically be attributed $4,140 in sales. But when Direct assists in a conversion, there is an additional $3,584.  Now we can get a better glimpse into a real ROI.  The far-right column in the report shows an index of how likely a channel is to convert or close.  When it’s less than 1, the channel is better at closing.  If it’s greater than 1, the channel is a better at assisting.

Pro Tip: Conversion values can’t be added together.  Since theoretically all channels could contribute a single sale, the value would be included for each assisting channel. You would be counting the same money multiple times.

You might be asking yourself “Well, that’s neat Justin, but how do I use this?”, and I have an answer for you. If you have a channel that has an index well over 1, you know it assists.  If this channel is Paid Search (and therefore might not be getting the credit it deserves in standard reports), you can update your messaging to create a sense of urgency to buy.  Or provide a discount code specific to that paid search landing page.  Any method that encourages a user to convert immediately from that channel will increase it’s ability to close.

Top Conversion Paths

And now that you see which channels are assisting, you can view the Top Conversion Paths to see where a channel is positioned in the journey. These paths are searchable, so if you are curious about how your Paid Search contributes, you can filter for it quite easily.

blogpic3

Pro Tip: This report can suck pretty quickly.  This example has 25 unique conversion paths, and paths 11 – 25 are pretty much unusable. This report should help expose trends or problem areas, not watch individual paths. You can best take advantage of conversion paths by watching the herd behaviors and not worry about a single conversion that required 9 Paid Search sessions.

Now, I imagine you are probably thinking “Hey Justin.  Again, this is neat, but what am I supposed to do with it? Can someone as handsome as you give me some tips?”.  Well, yes.  Yes I can. In the example above, we see the top 5 paths (accounting for 29 of the 75 conversions) all end with Direct.  The top path starts with an organic search, but closes with direct.  If you are investing heavily in SEO, it’s not getting the credit it deserves. And if you might be thinking of cutting the SEO agency from your budget, that’s a big mistake. Losing SEO power has an immediate negative impact on 38 of the 75 conversions, and $3,300 in revenue the past 30 days alone.

Time Lag & Path Length

These two reports are also included in the MCF reports, but it’s highly likely that they will be useless to you. They show how many channels are involved (i.e. 22 conversions from 3 channels and 2 conversions from 5 channels) and how many days occur between an assist and a close.
Hey Justin, can you take a second away from your male modeling gig to tell me what to do with these potentially useless reports?”  Sure. I can do that. Time Lag is great if you are trying to hit a calendar-based sales goal.  If it’s August 25th and your boss is demanding a strong Q3, and you know that users often lag 5 days before a purchase, you could launch a remarketing campaign with ads that encourage quick purchases (discount code, urgent messaging, etc). Time Lag will help you plan the flight accordingly.

Conclusion

This is all pretty exciting, right?  Many marketers feel in their gut that certain channels aren’t being tracked correctly.  Multi-Channel Funnels allow you to validate (or invalidate) that feeling with quantitative data. This deep knowledge of user behaviors allows you to best plan and mix your marketing dollars to improve ROI, target users, plug holes and powerfully enhance your business.  If you aren’t sure how to do this, you can always reach out to us for guidance.  It’s not enough to just look at these reports; you have to actively use them.

Once you get comfortable with MCF reports, we’ll throw a curveball and introduce you to Attribution Modeling in an upcoming post!

 

The post Using Multi-Channel Funnels appeared first on Be Found Online.

]]>
http://befoundonline.com/analytics/6891/using-multi-channel-funnels/feed 0
(un)Leadership Lessons – Don’t Take Anyone for Granted http://befoundonline.com/be-found-online/6869/unleadership-lessons-dont-take-anyone-for-granted http://befoundonline.com/be-found-online/6869/unleadership-lessons-dont-take-anyone-for-granted#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 16:12:33 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6869 Our CEO, Steve Krull, posted an article to LinkedIn last week about how to use your listening skills to become a better leader. He encourages others that, “As a leader—and all of us are leaders in some way—you have the opportunity to listen and learn every day.” Check out the full article to learn more […]

The post (un)Leadership Lessons – Don’t Take Anyone for Granted appeared first on Be Found Online.

]]>
shutterstock_288190787Our CEO, Steve Krull, posted an article to LinkedIn last week about how to use your listening skills to become a better leader. He encourages others that, “As a leader—and all of us are leaders in some way—you have the opportunity to listen and learn every day.” Check out the full article to learn more about the practices you can apply to better support and direct your team. Want to to hear even more about BFO’s unique take on leadership? Feel free to reach out, we’d be more than happy to chat!

The post (un)Leadership Lessons – Don’t Take Anyone for Granted appeared first on Be Found Online.

]]>
http://befoundonline.com/be-found-online/6869/unleadership-lessons-dont-take-anyone-for-granted/feed 0
SEO Agencies – Selecting the Right One for your Business http://befoundonline.com/seo/6824/seo-agencies-selecting-the-right-one-for-your-business http://befoundonline.com/seo/6824/seo-agencies-selecting-the-right-one-for-your-business#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 15:12:32 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6824 Search engine optimization (SEO) agencies come in all shapes and sizes, and it can be quite confusing selecting the appropriate agency to meet and exceed organic goals and business objectives. To better comprehend the agency selection process, it helps to start off with a handful of understandings about the SEO business environment. Google made over […]

The post SEO Agencies – Selecting the Right One for your Business appeared first on Be Found Online.

]]>
SEOBlogPostSearch engine optimization (SEO) agencies come in all shapes and sizes, and it can be quite confusing selecting the appropriate agency to meet and exceed organic goals and business objectives. To better comprehend the agency selection process, it helps to start off with a handful of understandings about the SEO business environment.

  • Google made over 500 changes to their algorithm last year that included updates to Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and Pigeon
  • It’s the service that separates the best agencies across the board. The best SEO agencies are transparent, honest, dedicated, high quality, value/performance driven, proactive, up-to-date, and serve as strategic partners
  • For small and medium-sized businesses choosing a SEO agency for the first time, sadly, most decisions are based on the lowest price offer
  • With SEO, you truly get what you pay for. Typically, the lower the price, the lower the value, level of service effort, and reporting output/performance
  • Every year, there are various new SEO-type shops opening their doors; it’s a confusing world, so your really have to conduct your due diligence regarding who you hire and what you get
  • Anyone online can call themselves or their company “SEO Professional,” so be wary of anyone who utilizes SEO shortcuts. These tactics can incite website penalties and potentially ruin brands. Instead, go with agencies who solidly demonstrate SEO best practices

With so many SEO businesses jumping into the digital marketing bandwagon, the challenge for many companies is selecting the right agency. My goal with this article is to cut some of the clutter and help you make a more informed decision. For the purpose of this article, I will focus on the SEO Agency (not freelancers or contractors). Let me start by providing a definition of “agency”:

Agency-Def

Getting From Point A to Point B

An agency’s sole purpose is to help clients get from Point A to Point B – achieving a set of objectives and goals – through a trackable, systematic process and service methodology.  But, just as there are many SEO shops, there are also just as many SEO business types, work ethics and service approaches.

Not all SEO agencies are the same, nor should they be. Two variables, the size of a company and annual revenue, usually directs the selection of the appropriate SEO agency type. Large, enterprise companies like Kohl’s, Walmart and Victoria’s Secret will utilize full-service, enterprise-level agencies, whereas medium-sized companies will fall in line with mid-market agencies. Small mom-n-pop/one-person shops will most likely choose a small agency or SEO freelancer.

The lines between large and medium-sized businesses can be blurred between enterprise and mid-market SEO agencies. Agencies in this realm offer near-identical service levels and support relatively large SEO budgets. Where the distinction, and oftentimes the challenge is found, rests among the pool of small SEO agencies. Small businesses and start-ups, initially budget bootstrapped, are ideal small-agency client candidates, but expectations on dedicated management, service and performance results are often misaligned. Oftentimes, as businesses grow, they graduate to larger, more sophisticated SEO agencies. Let’s break down the agency types.

Breaking Down the Agency Type – What to Expect

Certainly, many factors determine an SEO agency’s capabilities and ideal-client fit. For the sake of this article, I lumped agencies into three groups and provided a simple high-level overview. Hopefully, the outlines will showcase differences where they are important to you as you seek an SEO agency and will help you choose an agency partner appropriate for your digital needs and online objectives.

 Enterprise SEO Agencies

An enterprise-level company can be defined as $500MM – $1B+ organizations having many internal business units covering multiple geographic locations (domestic or global). Their websites are massive, often calculated in the thousands and millions of pages. Catering to the demands of these very large companies takes an equally large, enterprise-level SEO agency often compartmentalized within a full-service digital firm. Characteristics defining an enterprise-level SEO agency include:

  • Global offices with indigenous SEO practitioners in the foreign market
  • Dedicated SEO account staff to manage and direct the flow of cross-regional campaigns
    • Client-centric (High-touch service with the addition of a Client Service team)
    • Performance-driven (campaign management involving multiple layers of SEO leadership)
  • Robust reporting and analytics tools to drive deeper correlation, multivariate and attribution analysis
    • Campaign reporting includes high client touch and communication on a  weekly / bi-weekly schedule
  • Agencies are selected based on a company’s vendor-procurement department
  • Retainer-based SEO fees with minimums starting at $10k-$20k per month

Middle-Market SEO Agencies

Mid-sized agencies can serve large enterprise clients, but most clients represent mid-market businesses. Businesses of this nature are regionally focused (west coast, east coast, mid-west) or national. Attributes describing mid-sized agencies involve the following:

  • New business won through client referrals, agency partnerships, RFPs, and lead-generation and marketing activities
  • Offer high-end, customized services, but beware of the one-size-fits all campaign methodology particularly for the smaller client with limited budgets
  • May have a few centralized offices assisting regional and national clients
  • Retainer budgets in the range of $2k – $6k+ per month. Most middle market agencies come with monthly retainers considering all digital services
  • Client account team usually comprised of a dedicated Account Director, Account Manager and 1-2 analysts
  • Campaign reporting and client meetings typically occur monthly and are driven by the Account Manager
    • Reporting platforms are generally sophisticated and deliver robust reporting features

Small SEO Agencies

Usually, within this group of agencies, the SEO “snake oil” is sold.  And it’s typically with this group where the SEO learning curve begins for most small business and startups. Businesses utilizing small agencies are geographically local and include landscaping companies, hair salons, restaurants, dentists, auto body shops, etc. Small agency characteristics include:

  • New business won through client referrals, but most new clients are attained from heavy lead-generation sales/cold-calling and marketing activities
  • Campaigns can be highly customized, but beware of the cookie-cutter campaign delivery system and agencies that deliver limited to no reporting
  • Agency is local in one market
  • Retainer budgets can range from $250-$750 per month for small local markets and up to $1,500 per month for larger populated markets
  • Reporting is generally automated and sent monthly by email, particularly for very small budgets. As budgets increase, the opportunity to obtain a dedicated Account Manager also increases
    • Reporting platforms are often small and deliver simple campaign reports/metrics

In the End, You Really Get What You Pay For

It is important to conduct appropriate due diligence and consider the benefits and downfalls of the agencies you’re considering. In the end, you really get what you pay for with a SEO agency. Avoid the churn-and-burn, fly-by-night, moonlighting, automated, no-touch SEO agency by looking out for red flags. As an alternative, look for SEO agencies that really care about you as the client:

  • Place your interests ahead of the agency
  • Exemplify proactive account management
  • Demonstrate strategic thinking combining digital goals with company objectives and brand mission
  • Lead by example through an educationally-driven mentorship
  • Provide open and transparent communication abolishing all doubt
  • Treat you as “part of the family”

To generating happier, healthier and more successful agency/client relationships!

To help the process, you can acquire a sense of great agency characteristics and build upon your own SEO education by downloading BFOs “The Marketer’s Guide to Managing and Maximizing SEO Success”.

The post SEO Agencies – Selecting the Right One for your Business appeared first on Be Found Online.

]]>
http://befoundonline.com/seo/6824/seo-agencies-selecting-the-right-one-for-your-business/feed 0
BFO is One of Chicago’s Best & Brightest Companies to Work For http://befoundonline.com/be-found-online/6828/bfo-is-one-of-chicagos-best-brightest-companies-to-work-for http://befoundonline.com/be-found-online/6828/bfo-is-one-of-chicagos-best-brightest-companies-to-work-for#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2015 19:10:50 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6828 We are proud to announce that BFO has been named one of Chicago’s Best and Brightest Places to Work For® by the National Association for Business Resources! This award is given based on criteria evaluating excellence in human resources practices and employee enrichment. Some of the areas in which BFO excelled the most were Benefits […]

The post BFO is One of Chicago’s Best & Brightest Companies to Work For appeared first on Be Found Online.

]]>

spot-named-101-best-and-brightest-in-chicago1We are proud to announce that BFO has been named one of Chicago’s Best and Brightest Places to Work For® by the National Association for Business Resources!

This award is given based on criteria evaluating excellence in human resources practices and employee enrichment. Some of the areas in which BFO excelled the most were Benefits and Employee Solutions; Engagement and Retention; Employee Education and Development; Communication and Shared Vision; Work-Life Balance; and Community Initiatives.

Here’s what our CEO, Steve Krull, had to say: “It’s truly an honor to be considered one of the best and brightest. We strive to hire people that we love working next to who share our core values. The award is further proof that we’re on the right path!”

As a values-driven organization, everyday decisions at BFO are made based on what’s right for our employees, families, and clients. This is a major part of why BFO is thriving today. Our commitment to people has measurable outcomes for our clients, which has resulted in rapid overall organizational growth. We are consistently working to maintain the culture that makes BFO great.

Check out our careers page to learn about opportunities for joining the BFO team!

The post BFO is One of Chicago’s Best & Brightest Companies to Work For appeared first on Be Found Online.

]]>
http://befoundonline.com/be-found-online/6828/bfo-is-one-of-chicagos-best-brightest-companies-to-work-for/feed 0
2015 Trends for Driving More Ecommerce Conversions http://befoundonline.com/seo/6799/2015-trends-for-driving-more-ecommerce-conversions http://befoundonline.com/seo/6799/2015-trends-for-driving-more-ecommerce-conversions#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2015 21:50:55 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6799 Find Out What Big Brands Are Doing to Excel   No matter the size of your business, whether you are an independent niche retailer or a big box monolith, there are always opportunities for improvement. With ecommerce it’s simple, right? Get more conversions. Make more money. Repeat ad infinitum. But how do you grow your […]

The post 2015 Trends for Driving More Ecommerce Conversions appeared first on Be Found Online.

]]>
Find Out What Big Brands Are Doing to Excel

 

prs-and-seosNo matter the size of your business, whether you are an independent niche retailer or a big box monolith, there are always opportunities for improvement. With ecommerce it’s simple, right? Get more conversions. Make more money. Repeat ad infinitum.

But how do you grow your business? How do you get more conversions when every day thousands of ecommerce retailers are joining an already crowded space? How do grow your business—let alone just get by?

You either evolve or you die.

It should come as no surprise that the monoliths, not the mom-and-pops, are leading the ecommerce evolutionary ladder. They’re the fastest. They’re the strongest. And they’re using some of the coolest tools.

Join us Thursday, June 25th from 12pm – 1pm CST as Dan Golden, President and Chief Search Artist at Be Found Online, and Steve Krull, CEO and Co-Founder at Be Found Online, discuss what big brands are doing to excel at ecommerce.

Dan and Steve will discuss this year’s trends in driving more ecommerce conversions:

  • Cross-Device Optimization for Mobile Commerce
    • Users are no longer limited to a single device through the purchase cycle. Your strategy must reflect your customers’ device usage.
  • The Emergence of Social Commerce
    • Sure, you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. But how are you using them to drive sales?
  • The Continued Growth of PLAs & CSEs
    • PPC Campaigns aren’t enough. Learn how PLAs & CSEs integrate with your product feed to put your entire product inventory in front of shoppers.
  • Same-Day Shipping and Omni-Channel Inventory Automation
    • Ensuring inventory and data quality across multiple locations to expedite shipping processes and improve customer satisfaction.
  • Brand New Paid Media Conversion Tactics
    • Learn how Be Found Online is growing our clients’ businesses through tactics and tools we’ve developed in-house.

No matter your level of experience in ecommerce or the size of your business, you’ll walk away from this webinar with a better understanding of how to grow your ecommerce conversions, and some new strategies for testing. Register today to watch the webinar and learn more!

The post 2015 Trends for Driving More Ecommerce Conversions appeared first on Be Found Online.

]]>
http://befoundonline.com/seo/6799/2015-trends-for-driving-more-ecommerce-conversions/feed 0
Things We Learned at Pubcon 2015 in Austin, TX http://befoundonline.com/seo/6767/things-we-learned-at-pubcon-2015-in-austin-tx http://befoundonline.com/seo/6767/things-we-learned-at-pubcon-2015-in-austin-tx#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2015 15:13:39 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6767 What a day. Pubcon Austin 2015 came and went faster than we could have imagined. Our very own SEO Analyst Michael Klein attended this year, encountering a whirlwind of information, nerdery, and, of course, content. While the impending “mobilegeddon” discussed throughout the day turned out to be a bit of a letdown, Pubcon Austin itself […]

The post Things We Learned at Pubcon 2015 in Austin, TX appeared first on Be Found Online.

]]>
Aviary Photo_130777314453343506What a day.

Pubcon Austin 2015 came and went faster than we could have imagined. Our very own SEO Analyst Michael Klein attended this year, encountering a whirlwind of information, nerdery, and, of course, content. While the impending “mobilegeddon” discussed throughout the day turned out to be a bit of a letdown, Pubcon Austin itself was an amazing example of a superbly run conference, jam-packed with information.

SEO is a constantly evolving space. This year’s Pubcon was the truest example of that. Whether it was the overwhelming number of topics on mobile or content marketing in general, Pubcon illustrated how our industry is always changing. There’s always something new to learn and master.

There’s a lot to say about this awesome event. Here’s a walk through BFO’s day in Austin:

8:00am – The conference kicks off with a keynote from Tim Ash. His book “Landing Page Optimization” is an influential resource for SEOs, so it was great to hear him speak live. Tim is all about converting traffic, which is something we as SEOs need to focus on more. Often we’re stuck in a world of trying to build more traffic, rather than working closely on how to convert more of the traffic we already have into customers. Michael even won one of Tim’s signed books!

10:00am – Eric Enge’s quick yet highly informative session proved interesting. He tends to write very technical SEO pieces and this session was no exception. His insight into the inner workings of Google’s “knowledge graph” was a real eye opener to us. He gave a very simple approach to taking advantage of knowledge graph and giving our sites a better chance to appear.

10:30am – Michael used the break as an opportunity to jump back to the main conference room and see the second half of “Local Search and Mobile Optimization” with Loren Baker and Brian Combs. This was the first session of the day where mobile was the primary focus (but it certainly wasn’t the last). We took in some great information on mobile SEO and what to expect from Google’s (then) upcoming update.

11:20am – “SEO and Content Optimization” was the first heavy-duty SEO session we came across. What was so interesting here was the way content marketing and SEO have really become one-and-the-same. It’s amazing to us that only a year or two ago, this session would likely be separated into two. Now, we discuss content and SEO as the same function. (That, though, is a topic for another blog post.)

12:25pm – Over lunch, Michael took the opportunity to meet up with a mentor of his, John Cooper of Point Blank SEO (@pointblankseo). He was a pleasure to finally meet in person. His SEO expertise in the content marketing and link building space has long been a “go to” for Michael. Recently, John has expanded his own services into a full-scale agency. All of it is very inspiring and great to see. We highly recommend following John on Twitter, reading his blog, and reaching out to him if you see him at a conference! This was a highlight of the day.

1:10pm – After lunch, we dove into some different, niche-type sessions. The first was “SEO for WordPress” which we found to be a great niche topic that is rarely addressed. We were more than pleased with the amount of information jammed into this session, as it armed us with quite a few WordPress tips and tricks to use with our clients.

1:30pm – “Texas, Multi-Language, and International SEO” was a bit of a gamble that paid off big. The speaker, Zeph Snapp, lives in Mexico and runs an SEO firm from there. He spoke mainly on the difference between translation and “cultural” translation. It all came down to understanding culture in the SEO space and not just translating. This really hit home for us and is something we can’t wait to implement into an international SEO project in the future.

2:20pm – This nearly 1.5-hour session was completely dedicated to mobile SEO and conversion optimization. This session was largely focused on PPC, but did touch on SEO specifically at the end. Still, the recommendations remain the same. This was all about making sure user experience is optimized for mobile, not just to respond to the Google update, but for users.

3:30pm – Since it was getting to be late in the day, Joe Youngblood provided a fresh dose of excitement. His lecture on “Content Marketing Strategy” was a wonderful departure from a standard content marketing presentation. Being almost impossible to describe, John took us through the creative development process and truly inspired us to get creative in content marketing projects. His process was truly inspiring.

4:45pm – Toward the end of the day, it was nice to hear from a high-profile speaker, and Jordan Koene from eBay was the winning ticket. He spoke of his time at eBay and inspiring them to embrace content marketing, first with a Star Wars project. It was amazing to hear how they were able to drive SEO strategy through two difficult organizations (eBay and Lucas Film). It’s something we work with every day as an SEO agency, and it was very inspirational to hear such a high-level example.

5:30pm – The end of the day brought a much-needed networking and cocktail hour. We were able to catch up with a lot of the presenters, as well as some of the others that we were only able to talk to for a few minutes between sessions. Networking allowed us to truly witness the niche nature of the SEO industry. We even met a woman from an agency that handles only dental startup businesses. It’s always interesting to hear what people are doing in the SEO space.

Pubcon Austin 2015 was a very rewarding experience. Between networking and the sessions themselves, we couldn’t have been happier with the day. We highly recommend attending a one-day Pubcon, as it’s a great way to absorb a lot of useful information without attending a multi-day conference.

We look forward to Pubcon 2016, wherever it may be!

For more information on how an SEO expert can help your business succeed, contact us today!

The post Things We Learned at Pubcon 2015 in Austin, TX appeared first on Be Found Online.

]]>
http://befoundonline.com/seo/6767/things-we-learned-at-pubcon-2015-in-austin-tx/feed 0
Conversion Rate Optimization http://befoundonline.com/analytics/6732/conversion-rate-optimization http://befoundonline.com/analytics/6732/conversion-rate-optimization#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 16:04:09 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6732 You Don’t Have to Spend Money to Make Money “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Most people hear that and think, “You’re right. You can’t control the behavior of a horse.” But not me. I think, “What? Why not? Did the horse drink water somewhere else? Is the […]

The post Conversion Rate Optimization appeared first on Be Found Online.

]]>
You Don’t Have to Spend Money to Make Money

Earth and electronics. High-tech graphs at backdrop. Elements of this image are furnished by NASA

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Most people hear that and think, “You’re right. You can’t control the behavior of a horse.” But not me. I think, “What? Why not? Did the horse drink water somewhere else? Is the river dirty? Maybe that trough looks like a good hiding place for spiders! Did someone check for spiders?!”

If you question behavior, you are on the right track for Conversion Rate Optimization. You have a website for the sole reason of converting users. And it’s an ongoing process to get more conversions without breaking the bank.

Before you embark on a Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) journey, two things MUST be in place: 1) defined conversion points and 2) a measurement plan.

CTA_Digital Analytics

So let’s start with conversion. For the sake of clarification, let’s define “conversion” in terms of Google Analytics, which is simply a “success event” on your site. This can be a purchase, a PDF download, demo trial, form submission, or even viewing a key piece of content. It is very simply whatever is important to your business. It is why your site exists. It’s why you have a job.

Now that we know what our goals are, let’s talk about a measurement plan. Goals can only be set in GA if you are tracking them. Success page views, clicks, or whatever triggers your conversion should be tagged. Page views are most likely already tracked by default, but if your conversion requires page interaction, you’ll need to add Event Tracking. Once tagged, these actions can now be used for calculations and benchmarks. Be sure to include the steps prior to conversion to allow for funnel optimization.

blog1

If you already know your goals and are tracking them, read on. For new goals, you don’t get historical data. GA starts calculating at the moment a goal is created. If you need to set up your goals in GA, start now and allow time for data collection to occur. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Done? Great! Let’s start optimizing your conversion rate!

Let’s assume you’ve done a great job at leading your horses to water. Your Paid Search and SEO campaigns are working beautifully, your email remarketing is humming along, and offline marketing is driving direct traffic through the roof. But this is only half the story. You are still converting at 1%. If you can get to 2%, revenue doubles without increasing your spend. What if you can get to 5%? You’ll be celebrating on your CEO’s yacht in no time! Here are three starting points:

  1. Exit Pages: Where are users leaving your site? The Exit Page is the last page they view before the session ends. If it is in your shopping cart, or a product detail page, or even the homepage, the best place to start is fixing leaky holes in your site. Read about our recent case study on how we increased Ecommerce Conversion Rate by 10%.
  2. Funnel Abandonment:  And what if those exits are on a direct path to conversion? Do we see a big drop-off between /form and /form/business-info? If so, why? Are the questions too personal? Are there too many steps? Is it just curiosity or failures?blog5blog6
  3. Purchase Value: It’s a common desire to sell more products. But sometimes, that may not be the best way to impact the bottom line. The optimized approach is to look at what’s selling best and capitalize on that. In the screenshot below, you can see that even though they aren’t the top selling items in terms of quantity sold, the revenue per order is almost double the top selling items. Promoting these categories on the home page (which we already know is the #1 landing page) can help drive more traffic there, and in turn, more purchases of higher ticket items. Or shift budget from a lesser performing Paid Search campaign into these two campaigns to improve the ROI and drive more revenue.

blog7

BONUS CRO-NESS!

If you thought I was done talking, you are sorely mistaken. One more item that’s critically important for CRO but more verbose than a single post can handle, is form tracking. In example #1, I showed how steps in a funnel can show a drop-off. But what if it’s only two pages: a form and a success page? You aren’t going to glean insights from an 80% drop-off rate (other than maybe your form sucks). Using Google Tag Manager, you can set up a series of listening events for each of your form interactions, and track those as Events. It is an in depth process, but Be Found Online has experience creating and deploying a form tracking architecture customized to your needs.

For this example form, we know that there is a 0.5% form submission conversion rate. So what do the 99.5% of people do when they view the page? Or rather, what don’t they do?

blog8

We have a major drop-off when users are asked to provide personal information. Of the users that do provide their email address, there is still a drop-off of users willing to verify their email address. There is an even bigger drop-off when asked to give even more personal information (their phone number and annual revenue). Finally, when asked if they can be contacted, we lose even more. In the end, an abysmal 0.6% of users convert.

To optimize this form, we clearly need to ask less information and focus on critical fields. I would recommend the following:

  • Removing email verification and annual revenue fields
  • Making contact channel email OR phone instead of both
  • Remove “May We Contact You?” checkbox in favor of a note reading “We will reach out to you shortly”

CONCLUSION

The main goal behind Conversion Rate Optimization is to earn more without wasting money on marketing that isn’t working. Invest your dollars smartly in Conversion Rate Optimization, and you’ll see a much higher ROI. We aim to prove the adage “you have to spend money to make money” wrong. You are already spending on other marketing, so you need your website to work harder at converting your valuable dollars. And we can help you do just that. Pretty soon you won’t have to force your horses to drink. They’ll be chugging water in no time!
To put CRO to work on your website, contact Be Found Online today.

CTA_Digital Analytics

The post Conversion Rate Optimization appeared first on Be Found Online.

]]>
http://befoundonline.com/analytics/6732/conversion-rate-optimization/feed 0
Be Found Online is the Newest Google Analytics Certified Partner  http://befoundonline.com/be-found-online/6681/be-found-online-is-the-newest-google-analytics-certified-partner http://befoundonline.com/be-found-online/6681/be-found-online-is-the-newest-google-analytics-certified-partner#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 13:00:27 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6681 If you are familiar with Be Found Online, then you are familiar with our affinity for four-letter words. And today we are excited to announce four new letters to our vocabulary: GACP. Be Found Online is officially a Google Analytics Certified Partner. If you don’t recognize those letters, Google Analytics Certified Partners are highly qualified […]

The post Be Found Online is the Newest Google Analytics Certified Partner  appeared first on Be Found Online.

]]>
If you are familiar with Be Found Online, then you are familiar with our affinity for four-letter words. And today we are excited to announce four new letters to our vocabulary: GACP.

Be Found Online is officially a Google Analytics Certified Partner. If you don’t recognize those letters, Google Analytics Certified Partners are highly qualified service providers that pass Google’s rigorous selection process. Partners are vetted by Google specifically for expertise, product implementation, and capability.

Oh, and we get a shiny new badge:

Why Choose a GACP?

We have Google Analytics knowledge that can be summarized in more fourletter words:

Wide

As we mentioned, GACPs are vetted by Google to ensure a complete knowledge of the Google Analytics product. Google Analytics is extremely easy to set up and implement on your website. You can see data almost immediately. This ease of use is both a blessing and a curse. GA is incredibly powerful and flexible for those that have a technical skillset. So even if you simply paste code in, there is a chance it could be done wrong. Throughout our history of auditing data and fixing implementations, we’ve seen a wide variety of implementation errors. Simple user errors make big data errors, which leads to false interpretations of performance and HUGE mistakes in driving business performance. There truly is a “ripple effect” with a small error in data collection.

GACPs have the broad experience to immediately find red flags in our audits, and are armed with skills to fix issues.

Deep

Some issues with Google Analytics can be very technical. If you need to keep cookies persistent or customize JavaScript for artificial pageviews in dynamic content, then you need a deep knowledge of how Google Analytics works. While GACPs are required to know a lot about the product overall, we also have a deep knowledge of how the tracking code works, how it can benefit your site, and how you can specifically implement the code.

Some analyses can be very specific. We must know exactly how and why Google Analytics processes and reports data, and how that can be applied to your business model.

Help

GACPs also get access to Google’s engineers, marketing team, and product managers. And when they don’t have a google.com email address, we also have exclusive GACP forums where like-minded geeks can wax poetic on data. If there are unique, complex problems, or generic user interface questions or discoveries, they are brought up in our GACP group where the best analytical minds gather.

We also attend exclusive GACP events, where we are grouped with other GACPs to discuss Google Analytics, uses, problems, suggestions, announcements, and more.

ASAP

With experience that is both deep and wide, and a connection to a network of geeks, we can get you explanations and solutions quicker than you can do it yourself. And chances are, we’ve seen this problem before. This speed saves you time from searching for your own answers, and it gets your business moving in the right direction as soon as possible.

What Does this Mean for You?

If you are a current customer of BFO, you are already familiar with our expertise and success. This certification adds another feather in our cap and puts yet another Google Partner in our corner. It also adds to the circle where we have backup showcasing our Conversion Rate Optimization products that continually improve the Paid and Organic Search that is driving visits to your site.

If you want to hook up with us to see why the GACP program loves us so much, contact us here.

CTA_Digital Analytics

The post Be Found Online is the Newest Google Analytics Certified Partner  appeared first on Be Found Online.

]]>
http://befoundonline.com/be-found-online/6681/be-found-online-is-the-newest-google-analytics-certified-partner/feed 0
Digital Agencies vs. In-House Teams: The Pros, the Cons, and What Makes Sense http://befoundonline.com/seo/6604/digital-agencies-vs-in-house-teams-the-pros-the-cons-and-what-makes-sense http://befoundonline.com/seo/6604/digital-agencies-vs-in-house-teams-the-pros-the-cons-and-what-makes-sense#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 16:20:51 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6604 There has been and continues to be a growing challenge in the digital marketing landscape: where to find and acquire skilled digital talent in a limited employee supply. With the development of new digital technology skyrocketing and a world of consumers increasingly making online purchases, advertisers and agencies are burning hot for skilled Internet marketing […]

The post Digital Agencies vs. In-House Teams: The Pros, the Cons, and What Makes Sense appeared first on Be Found Online.

]]>
nature-landscapes_hdwallpaper_two-roads_4567There has been and continues to be a growing challenge in the digital marketing landscape: where to find and acquire skilled digital talent in a limited employee supply. With the development of new digital technology skyrocketing and a world of consumers increasingly making online purchases, advertisers and agencies are burning hot for skilled Internet marketing labor to manage and direct it all.

This begs a very good question: Is it best to hire a digital agency or build the team in-house? There are pros and cons to both. While the list is not entirely exhaustive, we’ve gathered some of the most important points to consider.

Cost Savings

Most advertiser’s HR budgets (for small to medium-size businesses) support a small digital staff. Usually, the employee hierarchy consists of a Digital Director or Manager with an Analyst. But overall, advertisers generally have a small in-house team to handle very robust and complex online marketing campaigns.

According to Payscale.com, the average digital marketing manager salary is $66K with a top end of $104K. Of course, factors regarding location and skill will cause deviations from the mean. The average digital analyst salary is $51K with $73K at the top. This means that the cost of two in-house marketers is $117K-$177K per year!

Hiring an agency, on the other hand, delivers a multitude of talent across many digital service channels. If an advertiser is running SEO, Paid Search, Content Marketing, and Social Media campaigns, they’re delivering four distinct teams who are experts in their defined digital areas. This is a huge plus over the potentially limited resources and expertise of a small in-house team.

In most cases, the hierarchy of staff in a digital agency consists of a VP, Client Services (over-arching relationship manager), Account Director (strategic vision/development), Account Manager (day-to-day management), and Account Analysts (data mining/reporting). Consider the salaries across four agency teams, and you can quickly understand the value-delivery system from the agency and the cost-saving value an advertiser receives from a human capital standpoint.

The two-position cost of $117K-$177K in itself could cover a medium-sized campaign. In other words, these are costs an advertiser could apply straight to growing their campaigns. Advertisers who choose to hire an agency have the ability to harness a much larger digital team, with dedicated skillsets to boot!

Skilled to the Teeth

Digital skill and knowledge are extremely important assets in winning the search game, and oftentimes, in-house teams can pale in comparison to their agency-experienced counterparts. Digital agency marketers live and breathe online marketing 24/7/365; they have to in order to maintain and grow the success of client accounts and remain current as proactive practitioners. On the flip side, in-house teams can be stretched thin if only a couple of people are asked to manage many digital campaigns on a variety of platforms. I have heard many times how in-house teams face resource limitations and lack the time for effective, daily account management. In-house teams bent on internal resource issues can become frenzied, leaving campaigns on autopilot. Account inactivity is the number-one reason compromising campaign results.

As a further advantage over in-house teams, agency teams are often more seasoned, given the client accounts they have managed over the years as well as the upkeep in pursuing best-practice knowledge. Account learnings can be drawn upon from the account experience vault in addition to trending digital strategies that, when combined, lend a performance-driving hand to the advertiser’s campaigns and bottom line.

Cross-Channel Learnings

As multiple agency teams bring the components of the advertiser’s campaign seamlessly together, it’s the collaboration of many minds that brings success to the whole. As a simplified example, let’s say an SEO team realizes huge spikes in user queries regarding a particular product line of the advertiser client. Without hesitation, the SEO Account Manager runs over to the Paid Search Director and illustrates the findings. Instinctively, the Paid Search team scours over their data, defines keyword gaps, and fills them with the new SEO knowledge. Simultaneously, new content is developed by the Content Team to drive new landing pages and natural backlinks to capture real-time user intent. This cross-channel insight delivered a big positive win to the client’s bottom line.

On the other hand, it is much more challenging to achieve cross-campaign data sharing with a smaller in-house team belabored with multi-platform management. Agency teams, with their own piles of channel data, work together to leverage one another’s insights and make sure the gaps are filled across channels.

Understanding the Brand

The issue of brand understanding is another important point for advertisers. Will an in-house team have a deeper understanding of the brand than an outside agency? From the advertiser viewpoint, the answer is probably a strong “yes.”

I believe in-house teams have the advantage here. Understandably, in-house teams are inundated with daily brand messaging via department meetings, HR internal communications, and company-wide presentations. The brand essence is part of the culture, which makes it a bit easier to craft messaging for the digital campaign.

On the other hand, while the in-house team may have the stronger brand knowledge, and there is a bit of an initial learning curve with an agency, it is the agency team(s) that bring digital best practices. Digital branding is most effective when compiled with online marketing best practices. And this is where the final viewpoint finds itself: Both digital agencies and in-house teams need each other.

Striking the Right Balance

Overall, there are arguments for digital agencies and in-house teams. But I believe having a mix of inside search managers and an outside digital agency is a great balance that achieves online performance while keeping in line with brand guidelines. Most often, agencies help advertisers with campaign heavy lifting, daily management, and the minutia of account activities/details. And on the other hand, advertiser in-house teams are given more of an opportunity to concentrate on building, executing, and maintaining the strategic vision of the brand. That type of working relationship sounds like a win-win to me.

So what’s your take on the digital agency or in-house team debate? For more information about how a digital agency like BFO can benefit your business, contact us.

The post Digital Agencies vs. In-House Teams: The Pros, the Cons, and What Makes Sense appeared first on Be Found Online.

]]>
http://befoundonline.com/seo/6604/digital-agencies-vs-in-house-teams-the-pros-the-cons-and-what-makes-sense/feed 0
Measuring the Return on Investment (ROI) of Your SEO Efforts http://befoundonline.com/seo/6525/measuring-the-return-on-investment-roi-of-your-seo-efforts http://befoundonline.com/seo/6525/measuring-the-return-on-investment-roi-of-your-seo-efforts#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 16:24:21 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6525 Measuring the performance and success of your SEO campaigns is a vital part of determining if your resources are being used effectively. Many marketers don’t realize there is a way to track SEO success in a measurable way. Read on to learn how to measure the return on investment (ROI) of your SEO efforts, and […]

The post Measuring the Return on Investment (ROI) of Your SEO Efforts appeared first on Be Found Online.

]]>
47874504_thumbnailMeasuring the performance and success of your SEO campaigns is a vital part of determining if your resources are being used effectively. Many marketers don’t realize there is a way to track SEO success in a measurable way. Read on to learn how to measure the return on investment (ROI) of your SEO efforts, and how doing so can help your business.

Justifying SEO Efforts

The purpose of calculating actual or potential ROI is to justify your business’s existing or planned SEO efforts.

Potential ROI can be calculated to determine whether it’s worthwhile to increase SEO efforts or, if none have been implemented yet, to begin new SEO campaigns. Actual ROI can be calculated to justify continuing your SEO efforts, helping you decide if your SEO program is benefiting your business.

Benefits of Measuring SEO ROI

So why measure SEO ROI? Here are a few ways it can help your marketing strategy:

  • Ease of comparison: By measuring ROI, you can compare the success of SEO efforts against paid media efforts on a single metric.
  • Investment opportunities: An ROI measurement can help you predict how your ROI might increase if you funneled a greater portion of your budget into your SEO efforts.
  • Setting goals: Measuring ROI can also allow you to set more informed, realistic, effective goals for your SEO campaigns. Equipped with detailed data about the efficiency of your SEO efforts, you can better understand ways to improve in the future.

Elements of the Equation

There are several factors to consider when measuring SEO ROI. The equation consists of these parts:

  1. The value (estimated or actual) of each visit from organic search. If your site has conversions, you can use the value of a conversion, such as lead generation or ecommerce.
  2. The cost of investment in SEO efforts. This could be a percentage of salary of the person or people on staff that are working on SEO. It can also be the amount of money spent on the SEO agency who handles your campaigns.
  3. The increase in organic traffic since SEO efforts were implemented. If no SEO efforts are in play yet and you are calculating potential ROI, this will be the factor that you can “play around with” to see the change in ROI at different SEO success levels. If you’re calculating ROI based on conversions, you’ll want to find your conversion numbers as opposed to traffic.

Keep in mind that if your business is a seasonal one, you’ll want to draw your data from a long enough data period to smooth out the effects of seasonality.

The Bottom Line

SEO is a measurable investment in your business, just like paid search! Calculating the ROI of those efforts can illustrate to others how valuable SEO is (or will be) to the success of your business.

To learn more about how to calculate the ROI of your SEO efforts, contact us today!

 

SEOdownloadebookbutton (2)

The post Measuring the Return on Investment (ROI) of Your SEO Efforts appeared first on Be Found Online.

]]>
http://befoundonline.com/seo/6525/measuring-the-return-on-investment-roi-of-your-seo-efforts/feed 0