Be Found Online http://befoundonline.com Tue, 28 Jul 2015 19:20:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Get The Marketer’s Guide to Getting it All Done http://befoundonline.com/be-found-online/6945/get-the-marketers-guide-to-getting-it-all-done http://befoundonline.com/be-found-online/6945/get-the-marketers-guide-to-getting-it-all-done#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 16:30:52 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6945 You may know how to do things right, but are you doing the right things? How do you juggle it all when everything seems important? In Be Found Online’s new eBook, “Project Management Therapy: The Marketer’s Guide to Strategic Project Planning,” we share a holistic approach to evaluating projects in a way that serves your […]

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Marketers-Guide-Getting-It-All-DoneYou may know how to do things right, but are you doing the right things? How do you juggle it all when everything seems important?

In Be Found Online’s new eBook, “Project Management Therapy: The Marketer’s Guide to Strategic Project Planning,” we share a holistic approach to evaluating projects in a way that serves your overall strategy.

Using the same method that Be Found Online has used to improve enterprise-level focuses, you’ll learn how to:

  • Figure out what’s important by asking yourself 3 key questions
  • Align projects with strategy by measuring the areas of impact
  • Spot gaps in strategic activities so you know when a key area of focus isn’t getting the attention it needs

By putting a consistent method into place for aligning your projects with your strategy, you’ll be able to prioritize your projects even in the face of constraints and the feeling that all the projects are important.

Download your guide to strategic project planning today!

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Google Universal App Campaigns – Future of Ad Spending http://befoundonline.com/seo/6924/google-universal-app-campaigns-future-of-ad-spending http://befoundonline.com/seo/6924/google-universal-app-campaigns-future-of-ad-spending#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 15:56:28 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6924  New campaign type is designed to give developers big scale for minimal work, and integrates within AdWords and Analytics for the metrics your app needs. Mobile Search Ad Spending The Google Universal App Campaign is a new type of campaign designed to give developers and marketers a larger scale to measure while integrating with AdWords […]

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 New campaign type is designed to give developers big scale for minimal work, and integrates within AdWords and Analytics for the metrics your app needs.

Mobile Search Ad Spending

blogpost2The Google Universal App Campaign is a new type of campaign designed to give developers and marketers a larger scale to measure while integrating with AdWords and Analytics to measure the metrics your app needs.

Mobile ad spend is here to stay; you’re either in the game or you’re not. Ad spend is projected to reach over 25 billion by 2018—a more than 50% increase from what is currently being spent in the app ad space. To help make sense of how much to spend, where to spend it, and what metrics to measure, we’ve outlined a few options below.

Google Introduced Universal Campaigns

blogpost3By integrating within AdWords and Google Analytics, the new universal campaign type is designed to give marketers more precise control over their app advertising and provide a new KPI metric to measure.

The marriage of app data and Google Analytics provides an industry-leading solution for in-app analytics which will benefit advertisers seeking more transparency into ad effectiveness across multiple platforms and ad networks.

“Dubbed Universal App Campaigns because the ads automatically reach across Google Search, mobile app network AdMob, sites in the Mobile Display Network and YouTube on iOS and Android devices and the Google Play store on Android.” – Search Engine Land

By setting CPI Targets to determine location and language targets with your budget and bid strategy, you can set it and forget it. Not really, but the Universal campaign does allow you to have a bit of flexibility across the ad networks.

What Mobile Ad Metrics Should I Measure? LTV > CPI vs. CPA

There are many metrics to measure such as installs, uninstalls, play time, engagement time, reviews, and purchases (read more on ASO App Metrics here), but there’s much more than just the cost per install. It’s the Lifetime Value > Cost Per Install factor, and the big data winner points to cost per action.

Costs per install used to be the defining metric, but now what is more important to track and measure is what people do with your app after they’ve installed it.

What is Lifetime Value and Why is it Important?

The lifetime value metric works more as a temperature gauge to determine the future worth of a user, instead of their initial install value. This means you have a stronger opportunity to continue to market to the users who have already installed your app for additional engagement.

The Cost per Action Changes the Game

Cost per action is the cost to acquire a user who engages in a high value, revenue-producing post-install event. While different apps target specialty audiences, each one has a focus of what they want the user to do once they’ve installed it.

blogpic4Techzone featured a detailed article about the value of the cost per install and the different types of CPAs depending on the target audience. Dating apps focus on monthly fee events, as opposed to social sharing apps which target an entirely different market.

Understanding the different kinds of metrics to target in your Universal Campaign can greatly increase the informed data to help drive future decisions on attribution modeling.

The Google Analytics blog describes it this way: the Universal Campaign helps to streamline these metrics and find what is most useful for your app.

With a single campaign, you can scale your reach across Google Search, the AdMob network, mobile sites, YouTube and Google Play. Just provide us with a few inputs about your app — what your ad creative will say, the audience you wish to reach, and how much you want to spend — we’ll do the rest for you. Behind the scenes, our ad creation and bidding engines will help maximize performance for your campaigns so you can spend more time building and enhancing your apps. For more information, contact an expert at Be Found Online today.

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The Evolution of Instagram http://befoundonline.com/sem/6912/the-evolution-of-instagram http://befoundonline.com/sem/6912/the-evolution-of-instagram#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 17:22:28 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6912 Updates Taking the Platform to New Heights Instagram rose to the top of the social platform landscape rather quickly when it was initially released in 2010. With its proclivity toward the visual, it was the perfect app for the new generation whose attention span for heavy content was declining. In less than a two-year period […]

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Updates Taking the Platform to New Heights

shutterstock_292797845Instagram rose to the top of the social platform landscape rather quickly when it was initially released in 2010. With its proclivity toward the visual, it was the perfect app for the new generation whose attention span for heavy content was declining. In less than a two-year period the app had gained over 100 million active users. Pretty incredible stuff!

Despite the app’s tremendous popularity, it was not generating nearly the amount of revenue that other social platforms of similar status were able to produce. This was largely due to the fact that Instagram did not run paid advertisements on the platform until years after its launch; even when it did begin testing ads in late 2013, the premiums were so high that only extremely large companies were able to afford trying out the new initiative.

However, when Facebook bought Instagram back in 2012, we all knew that this would not be the case indefinitely. And now, three years later, we are beginning to see the impressive outcomes from this partnership. The platform recently announced that it would be making three major updates to improve advertisements on their site.

Facebook Powered Targeting

In the past, businesses that chose to advertise on Instagram had limited choices when it came to targeting their audience. They were only able to select gender, age, and country, which means their audiences were oftentimes so generalized that there was never even an opportunity to do in-depth testing on their ads.

No longer will that be the case. Facebook’s ad targeting tools will soon be open to Instagram advertisers. Information from Facebook’s user profiles will translate over to Instagram and become available to marketers who can, in turn, create highly targeted audiences for their Instagram campaigns.

These defined audiences will allow for businesses to better position their product to users who match the brand’s interests, instead of merely fitting in the mold of a demographic. Essentially, this should equate to a higher return on investment for all companies participating in the new ad platform. On top of that, users will no longer have to be bothered by advertisements that are of no interest to them. Instead, they will be served ads that actually pique their interest and entice them to click. It’s a win-win situation.

Action-Oriented Formats

Instagram advertisers in the past were only able to use the platform for awareness, simply because there was no option for outbound links. However, the new and improved Instagram will not be burdened by similar problems. Each advertisement run from here on out will have an optional call-to-action placed below the picture, encouraging users to do everything from “learn more” to “shop now.” And even though users are clicking an outbound link, they will not have to actually leave the platform. Instead, a mini-browser will open within the app and when the task at hand is completed, the user will return to their last spot within the platform. Talk about seamless user experience!

Instagram Ads API

Last, but certainly not least, in the line-up of new updates is the new ad API. Instagram is rolling out this new feature in hopes that it will open up Instagram advertising to large and small business alike. Instead of having to manually manage campaigns that are running on the platform, this new API will likely create a market for third-party products to emerge and help alleviate the overall cost of running campaigns. Similarly, one can infer that this new marketplace will also drive the optimization of ads to their utmost efficiency, since that will be a driving factor for competing businesses in this new marketplace.

To Sum It Up

Who knows how these new updates will all pan out? By opening up a playing field for businesses of all sizes to reach more targeted audiences, it is likely that Instagram will rise to a whole new level in the realm of social media. It’s been very cool to have watched this platform grow and evolve so quickly in the past five years and I think I speak for everyone when I say that I’m excited to see what’s to come.

If you would like to learn more about how you can promote your business on Instagram, talk to one of our experts today!

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Understanding Your Customer’s Conversion Journey http://befoundonline.com/analytics/6891/using-multi-channel-funnels http://befoundonline.com/analytics/6891/using-multi-channel-funnels#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 15:05:01 +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 […]

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Multi-Ethnic Group of People in a Meeting and Research ConceptUnderstanding 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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

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(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 […]

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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!

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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 […]

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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”.

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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 […]

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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!

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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 […]

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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!

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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 […]

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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!

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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 […]

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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